(((Read Epub))) ✙ Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures ⇯ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Undercover work is like chess You need to master your subject and stay one or two moves ahead of your opponent..It s all about understanding human nature winning a person s trust and then taking advantage of it You befriend, then betray Robert Wittman s memoir of his twenty years as an art detective for the FBI was fascinating He traveled around the world recovering hundreds of millions of dollars of stolen art The author points out that a part of our history and our culture is lost wh Undercover work is like chess You need to master your subject and stay one or two moves ahead of your opponent..It s all about understanding human nature winning a person s trust and then taking advantage of it You befriend, then betray Robert Wittman s memoir of his twenty years as an art detective for the FBI was fascinating He traveled around the world recovering hundreds of millions of dollars of stolen art The author points out that a part of our history and our culture is lost whenever art and antiquities are stolen He also founded and trained the FBI s Art Crime Team.John Shiffman, an investigative reporter, worked as a team with Robert Wittman to write this informative and entertaining look at art theft, FBI undercover work, and government bureaucracy (((Read Epub))) ↟ Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures ☄ 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 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 th 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 From the Hardcover edition Robert Wittman s memoir about his 20 year career as an FBI agent specializing in art and cultural history crimes He traveled internationally and worked with other countries law enforcement agencies to recover stolen art and antiquities, such as Geronimo s war bonnet, North Carolina s copy of the Bill of Rights, a Rembrandt self portrait, a Peruvian golden backflap from a suit of armor , andThe book takes each case, examines the history of the stolen property, and details the covert wor Robert Wittman s memoir about his 20 year career as an FBI agent specializing in art and cultural history crimes He traveled internationally and worked with other countries law enforcement agencies to recover stolen art and antiquities, such as Geronimo s war bonnet, North Carolina s copy of the Bill of Rights, a Rembrandt self portrait, a Peruvian golden backflap from a suit of armor , andThe book takes each case, examines the history of the stolen property, and details the covert work required to recover it He weaves elements from his personal life into the narrative.I found this book fascinating It revolves around two of my personal passions art and history It includes intriguing elements such as art heists, fake deals, undercover subterfuge, and an insider s view of the FBI I flew through it One of the most touching scenes in the book is the retrieval of the American Civil War battle flag from one of the first African American regiments to fight for the Union Wittman s account gives a glimpse of the what the FBI is like, from the recognition and accolades when they resolve a high profile case to the bureaucracy, turf wars, and personality conflicts Wittman s story was captivating, especially the details of his undercover work, how he gains the criminals confidence, appeals to their greed, and eventually obtains the necessary evidence needed to arrest them and recover the artwork My only issue with it is the colloquial writing style lots of discussion of facts and food Recommended to those interested in art history, the FBI, or true crime Somehow, I knew that art thieves were not all really like Pierce Brosnon s Thomas Crowne, hiding Picasso s in his mane of chest hair, or like Catherine Zeta Jones getting her freak on with laser alarms Yet, I wanted to believe that they were like that But, Priceless serves to put those rumors to rest A tell all about the art crime industry from the FBI s pioneer in the field, the book shares tale after tale of the tawdry, seedy, and even boneheadedly simple and very un Pierce like world of Somehow, I knew that art thieves were not all really like Pierce Brosnon s Thomas Crowne, hiding Picasso s in his mane of chest hair, or like Catherine Zeta Jones getting her freak on with laser alarms Yet, I wanted to believe that they were like that But, Priceless serves to put those rumors to rest A tell all about the art crime industry from the FBI s pioneer in the field, the book shares tale after tale of the tawdry, seedy, and even boneheadedly simple and very un Pierce like world of art thieves To me, the whole concept of art crime being considered as almost a fashionable and less threatening crime despite the cowardly looting of truly priceless objects is quite fascinating And it is a theme that the author also keeps harping on The stories do get a bit bogged down in the telling however So many of the investigations tend to run into each other and share many of the same basic concepts that the reader can get a bit lost Though he isn t the world s best story teller, Wittman does have a pretty amazing story to tell The content is interesting, even very interesting The way he tells it is not Not only is his writing dull, but it drove me crazy that he makes himself out to be the best thing to happen to the FBI since, well, the X Files Personal opinion, of course not everyone likes the X Files But, seriously, man, bring the ego down a notch. What a life Wittman lived as an undercover FBI agent hunting down stolen treasures I m amazed he was able to use the same undercover name for twenty years without the bad guys catching up with him I d assumed the art theft underworld was fairly small and maybe it is for criminals with some art knowledge but they mostly seem to be inept bumblers who see an opportunity and take it So many museums are under secured it s a shame In the end it was interconnectedness of the criminals and the agen What a life Wittman lived as an undercover FBI agent hunting down stolen treasures I m amazed he was able to use the same undercover name for twenty years without the bad guys catching up with him I d assumed the art theft underworld was fairly small and maybe it is for criminals with some art knowledge but they mostly seem to be inept bumblers who see an opportunity and take it So many museums are under secured it s a shame In the end it was interconnectedness of the criminals and the agents that ended Wittman s government career, that and governmental bureaucracy both at home and abroad It s an old boys club filled with one upsmanship What a shame especially since the final chapters hold out glimmers of hope of finding the Vermeer and Rembrandt stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990 It was wrenching to hear one of the other Gardner paintings described as being badly damaged Though I wish there was better news on the Gardner front that in no way takes away from the many other lovely things Wittman was able to retrieve in fact his descriptive art insider s information made this book for me For me this is one of the best art crime books I ve read in years This book almost feels bipolar At times, it is a very good book about the stealing of art Other times, it is a personal story about an FBI agent.Sadly, the personal story is really boring and amounts to digressions that really, really take too long While Wittman s background is told quickly, when he joins the FBI he seems to spend too much time that on things that have nothing to do with the title While one particular event is important because it impacts him, other events aren t essential a This book almost feels bipolar At times, it is a very good book about the stealing of art Other times, it is a personal story about an FBI agent.Sadly, the personal story is really boring and amounts to digressions that really, really take too long While Wittman s background is told quickly, when he joins the FBI he seems to spend too much time that on things that have nothing to do with the title While one particular event is important because it impacts him, other events aren t essential and get overblown And it also seems as if he is tooting his horn a bit too much Though in all fairness, it is a first person narrative It s hard not to.Towards the end, Wittman has to deal with red tape and this slows the pacing done However, I am very glad I read it I ve always wanted to be a secret agent but never could identify with law enforcement types Confessing his odd man out status within the ranks of his peers, Bob Wittman s deep reverence for the sacred objects of art and culture bound our souls together from the first pages His willingness to go deep underground and risk his life to save a single priceless work is truly heroic Naturally I gobbled up all the juicy pointers peppered along the way always use your real first name, never use a I ve always wanted to be a secret agent but never could identify with law enforcement types Confessing his odd man out status within the ranks of his peers, Bob Wittman s deep reverence for the sacred objects of art and culture bound our souls together from the first pages His willingness to go deep underground and risk his life to save a single priceless work is truly heroic Naturally I gobbled up all the juicy pointers peppered along the way always use your real first name, never use a credit card or ask for a receipt , but the adrenalin rush of these adventures was compounded by how much of eternal value was at stake with each case That I got to see it all through the eyes of a man I can so unabashedly admire was the real treasure Read this book This was a very fascinating read It catalogues the career of the ONLY full time Art theft agent Over his career he recovered Geronimo s headrest, an 800 year old piece of armor and even an original Bill Of Rights missing for over a hundred years All total the value of his recovered art is well over 250 MILLION DOLLARS It was written very well and was actually quite entertaining. In this stunning autobiography, former FBI undercover agent Robert K Wittman details his 20 year career investigating the murky world of art theft Adopting the false but carefully documented identity of Bob Clay, a shady art dealer with a taste for contraband, Wittman successfully infiltrated domestic and international criminal networks to recoverthan 225 million worth of stolen cultural property items ranging from a Rembrandt self portrait to an original copy of the U.S Bill of Righ In this stunning autobiography, former FBI undercover agent Robert K Wittman details his 20 year career investigating the murky world of art theft Adopting the false but carefully documented identity of Bob Clay, a shady art dealer with a taste for contraband, Wittman successfully infiltrated domestic and international criminal networks to recoverthan 225 million worth of stolen cultural property items ranging from a Rembrandt self portrait to an original copy of the U.S Bill of Rights.Wittman also came closer than anyone else in the world to unraveling the mysterious 1990 robbery at Boston s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum His encounters with criminals closely associated with the theft make for some of the most riveting chapters in the book, providing new and surprising information about the heist and the probable whereabouts of the Gardner s missing Rembrandt and Vermeer The rest of my review is available online here