Conspirators Plead Guilty In Art Theft

Two men pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of conspiracy to transport paintings stolen from the home of President Bok in the summer of 1976.

The men, Edward DiPietro, aged 35, and Joseph Maggio, aged 31, await sentencing on June 5 by U.S. District Judge W. Arthur Garrity, Jr. They each face jail terms of up to five years and/or fines of up to $5000.

The six paintings were stolen on July 7, 1976, and were valued at over $350,000. Five were on loan from the Fogg Museum and one belonged to Sissela Bok, President Bok's wife and lecturer on Medical Ethics.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is still searching for the thieves who actually stole the paintings, Michael Collora, an assistant U.S. attorney, said yesterday.

FBI undercover agents traced DiPietro and Maggio, both Boston-area residents, and purchased four of the paintings in Brookline and two in Rhode Island, in Octover, 1976.

Tell-Tale Tapes

The FBI agents taped the phone conversations during which they made the arrangements to buy the paintings and the defendants pleaded guilty in the face of that evidence, Collora said.

The five works on loan from the Fogg include two paintings by Eugene Boudin, a French painter. The painting belonging to Bok is a work by Arcambo.

Seymour Slive, director of the Fogg, said yesterday that he plans to retrieve the paintings from the FBI shortly. The paintings are in good condition, except for the frames, which were destroyed by the thieves, he said.