Brave students chase down thief after hearing glass break at art gallery

Three students chased and detained a man who police believe tried to steal five paintings from a Boston art gallery, including etchings by Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt.

Boston University student Mackenzie Thompson said she and two other students were walking near the Galerie D'Orsay after the Super Bowl last week when they heard glass breaking.

_Galerie D'Orsay. Pic: Google Maps

Ms Thompson, of Shelton, Connecticut, said a man walked out of the gallery with several paintings and the students chased him, apprehended him, then flagged down a police officer.

Jordan Leishman, 29, is in custody facing charges.

The artworks have been returned to the gallery, which estimates the pieces were collectively worth nearly US$50,000.

Meanwhile, a Massachusetts art museum is offering visitors a unique glimpse of 13 masterpieces stolen more than a quarter of a century ago from the Gardner Museum in Boston.

The exhibit, opening tomorrow at the Mead Art Museum in Amherst is the work of San Francisco-based artist Kota Ezawa.

The artist has recreated the stolen works through a series of drawings set in glowing light boxes, including cartoon-like versions of paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Manet.

The unusual exhibit also includes an animated version of the security camera tape from the Gardner Museum on the night before the US$500m theft in March 1990, which remains the largest unsolved art raid in US history.

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