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

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

Robert K. Wittman, John Shiffman


The Wall highway magazine called him “a dwelling legend.” The London occasions dubbed him “the most famed paintings detective within the world.”
 
In Priceless, Robert ok. Wittman, the founding father of the FBI’s artwork Crime group, pulls again the curtain on his outstanding profession for the 1st time, delivering a real-life foreign mystery to rival The Thomas Crown Affair.   
 
Rising from humble roots because the son of an old broker, Wittman equipped a twenty-year profession that was once not anything in need of striking. He went undercover, frequently unarmed, to trap artwork thieves, scammers, and black industry investors in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and Santa Fe, Miami and Madrid.
 
In this page-turning memoir, Wittman fascinates with the tales at the back of his recoveries of necessary paintings and antiquities: The golden armor of an historical Peruvian warrior king. The Rodin sculpture that encouraged the Impressionist circulation. The headdress Geronimo wore at his ultimate Pow-Wow. The infrequent Civil struggle conflict flag carried into conflict through one of many nation’s first African-American regiments.
 
The breadth of Wittman’s exploits is unequalled: He traveled the realm to rescue work by means of Rockwell and Rembrandt, Pissarro, Monet and Picasso, usually operating undercover out of the country on the whim of overseas governments. in the direction of domestic, he recovered an unique reproduction of the invoice of Rights and cracked the rip-off that rocked the PBS sequence Antiques Roadshow.
 
By the FBI’s accounting, Wittman kept enormous quantities of thousands of greenbacks worthy of paintings and antiquities. He says the statistic isn’t vital. in any case, who’s to assert what's worthy extra --a Rembrandt self-portrait or an American flag carried into conflict? they are either priceless. 
 
The paintings thieves and scammers Wittman stuck run the gamut from wealthy to bad, shrewdpermanent to silly, geared up criminals to determined loners.  The smuggler who introduced him a looted 6th-century treasure grew to become out to be a high-ranking diplomat.  The appraiser who stole numerous heirlooms from battle heroes’ descendants was once a slick, aristocratic con man.  The museum janitor who made off with locks of George Washington's hair simply desired to make a number of additional dollars, figuring nobody might pass over what he’d filched.
 
In his ultimate case, Wittman known as on every piece of data and adventure in his arsenal to tackle his maximum problem: operating undercover to trace the vicious criminals in the back of what may be the main audacious paintings robbery of all. 

From the Hardcover edition.

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