THE HEIST AND THE HUNT

SUPPOSEDLY AUTHENTIC PHOTOS OF STOLEN ART TREASURES SHOWED UP LAST WEEK ON PAGE ONE AND TV SCREENS

From the start, the heist has riveted and dumbfounded the art world, with fresh chapters unfolding as if the perps had serialized the tale. Last week came the most tantalizing clues so far in the 1990 theft of $300 million in artwork--including three Rembrandts, five Degas and a Vermeer--from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On Friday the Boston Herald published several black-and-white photographs that purported to show some of the stolen paintings. And the Herald said that in collaboration with ABC News, it had near certain proof that the Rembrandts in the photos were authentic. The paper pointed to some minute...

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