By Robert K. Wittman and John Shiffman
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.
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 and the rare Civil War battle flag carried into battle by one of the nation’s first African-American regiments.
Rising from humble roots as the son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a twenty-year career traveling the world to catch art thieves, scammers and black market traders in order 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.
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.
8.1"h x 5.1"w