Amherst College art heist investigation reopened

Image courtesy: Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
Image courtesy: Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Amherst College and the FBI are reopening the investigation into a theft from a campus art museum nearly 40 years ago.

Three centuries-old paintings valued at more than $400,000 were stolen from the college’s Mead Art Museum in February 1975.

Two of those paintings were recovered in 1989.

But the third, a piece by Dutch artist Jan Baptist Lambrechts entitled “Interior with Figures Smoking and Drinking,” that is believed to date from the early 18th century, was never found.

Heath Cummings, who’s been Mead’s head of security since 2006, has been reinvestigating the case and has turned over what he found to the FBI.

An FBI spokesman tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette that the agency is looking to generate publicity for the case beyond Massachusetts.

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