‘Rembrandt Has Left the Building’: Talk by Arnie Reisman at Vineyard Haven library


On Thursday, Sept. 12, at 7 pm at the Vineyard Haven Public Library, learn how two screenwriters solved the nearly 30-year-old art heist at Boston’s Gardner Museum (and why they had to turn this historic event into a comedy). According to a press release, Arnie Reisman will tell the story of his award-winning original screenplay, “Rembrandt Has Left the Building,” cowritten with Nat Segaloff, based on the unsolved 1990 robbery of Boston’s Isabella Stuart Gardner art museum.

The Gardner museum robbery is the world’s biggest art heist. On March 17, 1990, two men dressed as Boston policemen overpowered the guards at the Gardner, methodically lifted and cut 13 works from their frames, and made off with their $500 million booty, never to be seen

again. Not only were there no significant clues, but in 29 years, neither the FBI nor private investigators have been able to untangle the mystery — until now. Reisman and Segaloff’s original script offers a compelling solution to who stole the paintings and why they

will probably never be recovered. Based on interviews with the two chief suspects and a deathbed confession from one of them, it shows how the robbery was committed, and the dryly funny reasons the investigation ran aground almost from the beginning.

“Rembrandt Has Left the Building” -— the title suggests a comedy of crime and manners -— was profiled on the acclaimed 2018 “Last Seen” NPR podcast series by Kelly Horan. The script was chosen winner in the feature division from among 153 submissions to the Electric City

screenplay competition. Arnie Reisman is a writer, poet, editor, producer, and panelist on the popular NPR word game show, ”Says You!” Nat Segaloff is a writer, film historian, and producer. The screen rights to “Rembrandt Has Left the Building” are currently available through Barry Krost at BKM Management.

Despite some promising leads in the past, the Gardner theft of 1990 remains unsolved. The museum, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s office are still seeking viable leads that could result in the safe return of the art. The museum is offering a reward of $10 million for information leading directly to the recovery of all 13 works in good condition. A separate reward of $100,000 is being offered for the return of the Napoleonic eagle finial. Anyone with information about the stolen artworks or the investigation should contact the Gardner Museum directly. Confidentiality and anonymity are guaranteed.