YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Quick Takes

March 19, 2013

New focus on art theft

As far as crimes go, the heist was a work of art.

On March 18, 1990, two men in police uniforms talked their way into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where they tied up the security guards. After disabling the security cameras, they made off with 13 works valued at $500 million.

The theft has flummoxed investigators for 23 years — a streak the FBI is now asking the public to help break.

On Monday, officials revealed that they think they know the identities of the men who took the art — which included works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas — and that the art may still be in the Northeast.

The new details are part of a publicity push by federal officials to raise awareness about the missing paintings, whose return could bring a $5-million reward from the museum.

Officials would not release the names of the suspects, and Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, said the statute of limitations for the theft had expired.

—Matt Pearce

Wallenda's test: Grand Canyon

Nik Wallenda, known as "King of the High Wire," will venture into Evel Knievel territory this summer when he attempts a daring high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon on June 23.

And those curious to see if he makes it will be able to watch the whole thing live on Discovery.

To make things more interesting, Wallenda, 34, doesn't plan to use a safety harness or net. One wrong step and it's 1,500 feet straight down to the Little Colorado River.

The daredevil made the announcement on NBC's "Today" on Monday morning, telling Matt Lauer that the Grand Canyon was "another one on the bucket list" of places he's wanted to traverse via tightrope.

Last year, Wallenda became the first person to walk across Niagara Falls from the U.S. to Canada, 200 feet above the rushing waters. He wore a safety harness for that outing.

"It was my dream to walk over Niagara Falls since I was 5, 6 years old, but part of that dream was taken away because I had to wear [a] harness," he said on "Today." "The exciting thing about this event is that I won't be wearing any tether or safety whatsoever."

—Patrick Kevin Day

Ponsot earns prize for poetry

Poet Marie Ponsot will be awarded the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, which comes with an award of $100,000 and is given for lifetime achievement, in June.

Ponsot's career began in the 1950s; her book "True Minds" was the first thing City Lights published after Allen Ginsberg's "Howl." Her later publications include 1998's "The Bird Catcher," which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, "Easy" in 2009, "Springing" in 2002, "The Green Dark" in 1988 and "Admit Impediment" in 1981.

"Her poems are marvels of intellectual curiosity and acuity, and they will also break your heart," observed Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Tonys return to roomier hall

After two consecutive years at the Beacon Theatre on New York's Upper West Side, the Tony Awards ceremony will return to the more spacious Radio City Music Hall this year.

Organizers of Broadway's biggest night announced Monday that the annual awards ceremony will take place June 9. The nominations will be announced April 30. The Tonys are presented by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League.

In the last two years, the Tonys have been held at the Beacon, a venue that usually hosts rock concerts and that has a capacity of about 2,900 seats. Radio City Musical Hall has a capacity of about 5,900.

—David Ng


History winners: W. Jeffrey Bolster's "The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail" and John Fabian Witt's "Lincoln's Code: The Laws of War in American History" have been named winners of the prestigious Bancroft Prize. Each author will receive $10,000 for one of the most coveted awards among historians.

Los Angeles Times Articles