Robert Wittman, author, "Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures"
Air Dates: September 6-9, 2014
This week's guest on “Report from Santa Fe” is Robert Wittman, founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, and author of “Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures.”
The world's top art sleuth, Wittman went undercover to catch art thieves, scammers, and black-market traders around the world, rescuing some of history's greatest treasures. By the FBI's accounting, these high- stakes gambits saved hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of masterpieces and rare historic artifacts.
“Priceless” takes us inside Boston's Gardner heist, the biggest property crime of any kind in the history of the United States, where the value of the stolen art now tops $500 million. Scams in the Native American art market are revealed, plus dodgy dealings on “Antiques Roadshow.”
Wittman is called the FBI's own “Indiana Jones” and in twenty years recovered over $300 million in stolen art. But he reminds us that these art treasurers hold more than their monetary value, they hold our identity, our history and our memories, all of which are, indeed, “Priceless.”
“With suspense, intrigue, and candor, FBI agent Robert Wittman takes us inside the secret world of stolen art as he goes undercover to solve some of the most notorious art thefts of our times.” Ron Kessler, New York Times best-selling author of “The Bureau” and “In the President's Secret Service”
“A rollicking memoir...investigative details dazzle...can read at times as if an art history textbook got mixed up at the printer with a screenplay for The Wire.” New York Times