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Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures

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Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Wall Street Journal called him “a living legend.” The London Times dubbed him “the most famous art detective in the world.”

In Priceless, Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career for the first time, offering a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair.

Rising from humble roots as the son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a twenty-year career that was nothing short of extraordinary. He went undercover, usually unarmed, to catch art thieves, scammers, and black market traders in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and Santa Fe, Miami and Madrid.

In this page-turning memoir, Wittman fascinates with the stories behind his recoveries of priceless art and antiquities: The golden armor of an ancient Peruvian warrior king. The Rodin sculpture that inspired the Impressionist movement. The headdress Geronimo wore at his final Pow-Wow. The rare Civil War battle flag carried into battle by one of the nation’s first African-American regiments.

The breadth of Wittman’s exploits is unmatched: He traveled the world to rescue paintings by Rockwell and Rembrandt, Pissarro, Monet and Picasso, often working undercover overseas at the whim of foreign governments. Closer to home, he recovered an original copy of the Bill of Rights and cracked the scam that rocked the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.

By the FBI’s accounting, Wittman saved hundreds of millions of dollars worth of art and antiquities. He says the statistic isn’t important. After all, who’s to say what is worth more --a Rembrandt self-portrait or an American flag carried into battle? They're both priceless.

The art thieves and scammers Wittman caught run the gamut from rich to poor, smart to foolish, organized criminals to desperate loners. The smuggler who brought him a looted 6th-century treasure turned out to be a high-ranking diplomat. The appraiser who stole countless heirlooms from war heroes’ descendants was a slick, aristocratic con man. The museum janitor who made off with locks of George Washington's hair just wanted to make a few extra bucks, figuring no one would miss what he’d filched.

In his final case, Wittman called on every bit of knowledge and experience in his arsenal to take on his greatest challenge: working undercover to track the vicious criminals behind what might be the most audacious art theft of all.

Synopsis:

The creator of the FBI's Art Crime Team recounts his dramatic career, describing high-stakes undercover missions involving valuable stolen antiquities, in an account that includes coverage of his role in a famous unsolved crime. Co-authored by the Pulitzer finalist reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Synopsis:

The Wall Street Journal called him a living legend. The London Times dubbed him the most famous art detective in the world.

In Priceless, Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career for the first time, offering a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair.

Rising from humble roots as the son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a twenty-year career that was nothing short of extraordinary. He went undercover, usually unarmed, to catch art thieves, scammers, and black market traders in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and Santa Fe, Miami and Madrid.

In this page-turning memoir, Wittman fascinates with the stories behind his recoveries of

About the Author

ROBERT K. WITTMAN spent twenty years as an FBI special agent. He created and was senior investigator for the bureau’s Art Crime Team. Today, he is president of the international art security firm Robert Wittman Inc.

JOHN SHIFFMAN is an investigative reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has won numerous writing awards and was a 2009 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Table of Contents

Alla prima. Stagehand — Crimes against history — Provenance. Making of an agent — Mask of the man with the broken nose — The accident — Inspiration — A new life — Body of work. The gold man — History out the back door — A blood cloth — Befriend & betray — The con artist — A hot hand — The property of a lady — National treasure — Art crime team — The old master — Operation masterpiece. Mrs. Gardner — Cold case — A French connection — Laurenz & Sunny — Allies & enemies --- A coward has no scar — Suspicious minds — End game.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307461490
Subtitle:
How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Author:
Wittman, Robert K.
Author:
Shiffman, John
Author:
Robert K. Wittman
Author:
John Shiffman
Subject:
True Crime : General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Other Miscellaneous Crimes
Subject:
General True Crime
Subject:
Art thefts - Investigation
Subject:
Wittman, Robert K
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Crime-Cops and Police Stories
Subject:
Crime-General
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
Art-History and Criticism
Subject:
Current Affairs-General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20100601
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
324

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Law » General

Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures
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Product details 324 pages Crown Publishing Group - English 9780307461490 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The creator of the FBI's Art Crime Team recounts his dramatic career, describing high-stakes undercover missions involving valuable stolen antiquities, in an account that includes coverage of his role in a famous unsolved crime. Co-authored by the Pulitzer finalist reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"Synopsis" by , The Wall Street Journal called him a living legend. The London Times dubbed him the most famous art detective in the world.

In Priceless, Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career for the first time, offering a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair.

Rising from humble roots as the son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a twenty-year career that was nothing short of extraordinary. He went undercover, usually unarmed, to catch art thieves, scammers, and black market traders in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and Santa Fe, Miami and Madrid.

In this page-turning memoir, Wittman fascinates with the stories behind his recoveries of

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