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'Art Heist Experience' gives audience chance to solve 30-year-old cold case

The performance is based on the infamous heist in Boston, where 13 works of art valued at $500 million were stolen. The case has yet to be solved.
Credit: FSCJ Art Series

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An interactive show by the FSCJ Artist Series is giving people the chance to live out the fantasy of being a sly detective solving a major heist.

The Art Heist Experience is based on the true story of the robbery of 13 works of art, valued at more than half a billion dollars. The heist happened on March 18, 1990 at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the FSCJ Artist Series says.

The thieves dressed police officers and told guards they were investigating a disturbance in the museum. When all was said and done, paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet and others were stolen. They remain missing to this day.

In the show, according to the FSCJ Artist Series, amateur detectives interact with a ground of "wily career criminals, slimy con men, rumpled art recovery specialists, a possible inside man, a gentle psychopath and the larger-than-life but definitely real self-proclaimed 'Greatest Art Thief of All Time.'"

The actors in the show will reveal clues to the detectives in the audience that lead them on their way towards solving the mystery, along with some red herrings to make it a little complicated, the FSCJ says. Then it is up to the sleuths in the audience to determine who is lying and solve the case. 

Because many of the scenes are improvised, no performances are alike.

To read the clues on each suspect in the play, you can follow this link.

Performances run through May 1 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

Tap here to find out how to purchase tickets and to learn more about the show.