In 1990, in the early morning hours after St. Patrick’s day, thieves disguised as policemen gained access into Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and successfully executed the largest art heist in modern history. Among the thirteen priceless works stolen was Vermeer's “The Concert” one of only 35 of the masters surviving works. To date, not a single work has been recovered.
STOLEN is a full exploration of this unusual crime and the fascinating, disparate characters involved: from the 19th century Grand Dame Isabella Gardner to the 17th century Dutch masters to a 21st century terrorist organization with a penchant for stealing Vermeers.
At the heart of the film, is the unlikely hero Harold Smith, the renowned art detective. STOLEN follows Mr. Smith as he pursues the mystery of the stolen works. Despite his lifetime battle with skin cancer, the cunning and witty Smith has made this case his personal obsession, working with what hope remains. With Mr. Smith as a guide STOLEN journeys into the mysterious and surreal world of stolen art and examines the many possibilities as to where the art might be.
Interwoven with Smith's investigation are noted contemporary authors discussing the power of Vermeer's work, as well as collector Isabella Stewart Gardner's turn-of-the-century correspondence (read by Blythe Danner) with her advisor Bernard Berenson (read by Campbell Scott.) These subplots give the film a larger context and help illuminate just what the world has lost.
STOLEN brings the audience on a journey to understand not just a crime but also the nature of beauty itself—its fragility and its power.