Operation “Masterpiece”. Six facts about crimes in the sphere of art from the book by Robert Whitman
In September, Ivanov, Mann & Ferber released a new book, Operation Masterpiece, written by former FBI agent Robert Wittman and co-authored by John Schiffman. What is interesting about this book? First of all, the personality of the author. Robert Wittman spent twenty years solving crimes in the field of art, searching for stolen antiquities and paintings.
In total, he managed to return works of art totaling tens of millions of dollars. Among these items were a gold plate of an Indian chief, and a sculpture of Rodin, and an old battle flag, and paintings by Norman Rockwell, Picasso and Monet. In fact, operation Masterpiece, in which part of the paintings stolen from the Gardner Museum were found, was the pinnacle of Wittman’s career (despite the fact that the works were missed due to the accidental disclosure of Wittman’s identity by the French authorities). Recall that in the latter case we are talking about the investigation of the robbery in 1990, when it was stolen 11 masterpieces, including paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Continue reading