Art Crime and the FBI: How Masterpieces are Stolen and Recovered with Robert Wittman

Art Crime and the FBI: How Masterpieces are Stolen and Recovered with Robert Wittman


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Join one of the most famous art detectives in the world to hear tales from the trenches of his long career solving art crimes with the FBI. Drawing on cases he worked on personally, this seminar explores notorious art heists and daring recovery operations.

Robert Wittman founded the FBI's National Art Crime Team and served for 20 years as the FBI's investigative expert. Wittman is responsible for recovering more than $300 million in stolen art and cultural property around the world. He authored the New York Times Best Seller "Priceless-How I Went Undercover to Rescue The World's Stolen Treasures.”

This seminar will draw on cases that have made headlines over his long career in law enforcement. Wittman’s career has taken him from Spain to extract $50 million worth of Goya and Brueghel paintings from a Spanish mobster to France to save a priceless Rodin. He has rescued Rembrandts, Renoirs and even the golden armor of an ancient Peruvian warrior king. He will also share his greatest challenge: working undercover to track the criminals behind the century’s largest unsolved art crime, the $500-million-dollar theft from the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston.

Led by an expert on art crime, Robert Wittman, this seminar is a unique opportunity to meet the man who has been dubbed "The most famous art detective in the world." Join us to hear about his illustrious career in the FBI National Art Crime Team and the many masterpieces he has rescued.

This conversation is part of a three-part series with Robert Wittman. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of a three-week series.

Robert K. Wittman joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1988. As a result of specialized training in art, antiques, jewelry and gem identification, he served as the FBI’s investigative expert involving cultural property crime. During his 20 year FBI career he recovered more than $300 million worth of stolen art and cultural property which resulted in numerous prosecutions and convictions. As a result of his unique experience Mr. Wittman coauthored the FBI Cultural Property Investigative Manual in 2001. In 2005, he created the FBI’s rapid deployment national Art Crime Team (ACT). Mr. Wittman has represented the United States throughout the world conducting investigations and instructing international police and museums in recovery and use of high value asset security techniques. Mr. Wittman is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations including the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service-Officer Level, presented by the President of Peru, the White Cross of Law Enforcement Merit with Distinction, by the government of Spain, Director's Award for Outstanding Contributions in Law Enforcement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Robert Burke Award for Cultural Property Protection from the Smithsonian Institution, and the S.A.F.E Beacon Award from Saving Antiquities for Everyone. In 2010, Mr. Wittman penned his New York Times bestselling memoir “PRICELESS: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures.” His second book, “THE DEVIL’S DIARY: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich” is a worldwide best seller published in 29 languages in more than 30 countries.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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