This Is A Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist

  • 17 Apr - 23 Apr, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

This Is A Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist is a four-part docuseries, directed by Colin Barincle, about the March 18, 1990 robbery at the Gardner Museum, resulting in the loss of 13 pieces that at the time were worth around $200 million, and at one point were worth around $500 million. The first episode talks about the unique museum, which Gardner built and opened in 1903. As the former guards who are interviewed state, it’s a museum that’s an architectural wonder; plain on the outside, its gaudily decorated galleries which look like rooms in a Victorian-era mansion are situated around an enclosed atrium that feels like a lush garden. The works that Gardner collected were a bit eclectic but there was a theme: The more realistic paintings of the Baroque era of the 17th century. As the accounts of the night mention, the museum was guarded by two guards on the night watch, and at one point, two men dressed as Boston police officers come to the door saying they had reports of a disturbance. They were let in; they handcuffed both guards, and said “This is a robbery.” The first episode sometimes shows detriment. For all the crime scene photos showing smashed glass and empty frames, with graphics showing the path the thieves took to get to the works they stole, the act itself wasn’t that complicated.