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ON VIDEO...


































IN THE NEWS...


[His Heart Is in the Art of Sleuthing]
There might be a few agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who could sit down at a piano and run through a Chopin Fantasie to calm their nerves, as Robert K. Wittman used to do. But there probably aren’t many who could also chat knowledgably about Cézanne’s influence on Soutine. Or who have studied formalism at the Barnes Foundation art museum outside of Philadelphia. Or who have found themselves in Hollywood, Fla., eating lunch with — and probably being targeted by — two large French assassins nicknamed Vanilla and Chocolate, while tantalizingly...

[New York Times - June 2010]


[Experts Studying Paris Art Heist Clues]
Who done it? The theft of five paintings worth $112 million from the Modern Art Museum in Paris on Thursday left experts on two continents studying clues to one of the largest heists in modern times. Signs of an inside job: A disabled alarm system. Three night watchmen claiming they didn't hear or see anything. Signs of amateurism: A smashed window. Paintings removed from their frames. Signs of impulsiveness: The theft of a Picasso, weeks after another Picasso sold for a record $104 million bid. The founder of the FBI Art Crime Team said the heist carried hallmarks of a ruthless and loosely knit French art-theft gang believed to be holding about 70 stolen paintings. "I'm sure that's who the police are looking at," said retired FBI agent Robert K. Wittman of Philadelphia...

[The Philadelphia Inquirer - May 2010]


[What You've Heard About Art Crime Isn't True]
Like a modern-day Indiana Jones, FBI special agent Robert K. Wittman risked his life for the sake of history, going undercover to rescue the world's stolen treasures. Wittman, who founded the FBI's elite Art Crime Team, recovered more than $225 million worth of art and antiquities...

[USA Weekend - May 2010]


[Turf War May Have Ruined Gardner Heist Lead]
The FBI was on the trail of recovering the principal masterpieces stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum from a criminal gang in Corsica two years ago only to have its efforts dashed, in part because of bureaucratic infighting among federal agents and supervisors. That is the conclusion of a nonfiction book written by a now-retired FBI special agent who posed undercover in 2006 and 2007 as a wealthy art collector interested in purchasing several of the paintings through two Frenchmen who had alleged ties to the Corsican mobsters. The French intermediaries said they could deliver the stolen Vermeer, valued at more than $100 million...

[The Boston Globe - April 7, 2010]


[The Art Sleuth]
The sun was setting over the New Jersey Turnpike as Special Agent Robert K. “Bob” Wittman walked toward the car. Most thieves drove beat-up Chevys or Ford Caprices with cracked windshields. But this was a gleaming, black Lincoln Town Car. With diplomatic plates. The man who stepped out of the car didn’t look like the kind of lowlife Wittman was used to dealing with, either. He was a tall, distinguished-looking man in a dark suit with...

[Cigar Aficionado - June 2009]


[The Art Of The Heist]
In the summer of 2007, in a daring daylight robbery in the French Riviera, five armed and masked criminals made off with millions in stolen art. The exclusive story of how the world's greatest art detective took them down
.
[Maxim - February 2009]


[Spy Like Us]
In June 2002, two men waited in an upscale Madrid hotel room for a very important delivery. One was tall, buzz cut, athletic. The other was an affable, academic type in his late 40s with a medium build and short hair tinged with gray. There was a knock at the door. It was a shaven-headed Spaniard wearing the garb of European thug...

[Baltimore Magazine - November 2009]


[The Invisible Man of Art Theft]
There are about 100 of us packed into a restaurant in Upper Holmesburg, Philadelphia - art experts and curators, museum security chiefs, and a phalanx of FBI agents with 9mm Glocks concealed under their G-man suits. We have gathered to say farewell to a man few people have heard of and even fewer could recognise or describe. That is the way Special Agent Robert "Bob" Wittman prefers it. For nearly two decades, usually masquerading as a crooked art dealer with...

[BBC News - December 13, 2008]


[To Catch A Thief]
Bob Wittman, the special agent who created the FBI's art theft recovery team and, until his retirement on September 19, was its only undercover operative, inked a deal to tell the story of his career, tentatively titled In Pursuit of the Priceless; Rick Horgan at Crown beat out five other publishers for North American rights via Larry Weissman. Wittman has posed as a...

[Publishers Weekly - September 22, 2008]

[From Art World To Underworld]
Shortly after 9 a.m. on June 4, three men drove to a seaside promenade near Marseilles, their van carrying paintings by Brueghel, Sisley and Monet. The art had been stolen at gunpoint from the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice last August. Now a Frenchman working for an American art dealer was supposed to show up and buy four works for $4.6 million in cash. Instead, nearly a dozen French police cars pulled up...

[The Wall Street Journal - August 22, 2008]


[Heist: The Case of the Stolen Rembrandt]
It's Christmastime in Stockholm. December 22, 2000, 4:45 p.m., to be exact. Snow blankets the ground. The last visitors to the National museum are putting on their coats, ready to leave. They're talking and laughing, but the festive mood is about to come to an end. Because just at that moment, thieves...

[Readers Digest - December, 2008]


[Going Undercover with Investigator Robert Wittman]
For years, Robert K. Wittman has perfected the art of the shady deal. From the port city of Marseilles, to the backstreets of Warsaw, and to a farmhouse deep in Brazil, Wittman has played the role of the greedy and unscrupulous art dealer. His feats during his 20-year tenure with the FBI are nearly legendary. He has played a key role in the recovery of more than $225 million...

[Antique Week - November 14, 2008]


[Crime: To Catch A Thief]
Don't shoot!" Robert Wittman drops to the floor of a Madrid hotel room, yelling for his life while a gang of machine-gun-toting Spaniards storms in. They wave their weapons. Across the room, a man screams. Wittman doesn!t look up. Instead, he clutches a $4 million painting to his chest with one hand, covers his head with the other, and holds his breath...

[Philadelphia Magazine - May 7, 2008]


[It Takes a Sophisticated Thief]
Robert Wittman found himself in an upscale Copenhagen hotel room checking the authenticity of a $36 million self-portrait painted by Rembrandt in 1630. It was September 2005. The Philadelphia-based FBI agent was posing as an art professor...

[Leader's Edge Magazine - October 2008]




INTERNATIONAL NEWS...


[Tajny agent na tropie Rembrandta]
Do przejscia na emeryture we wrzesniu ubieglego roku Robert Wittman byl glównym specjalista i jedynym tajnym agentem FBI do spraw kradziezy sztuki. Przez dwadziescia lat przyczynil sie do odzyskania dziel wartych 225 mln dol., m.in. autoportretu Rembrandta Wiecej...

[Warsaw Gazette - March 2008]



[Portrait of a thief]
The disappearance this month of 12 gold artifacts handcrafted by the influential native artist Bill Reid is exposing the underbelly of the Canadian art industry recently buoyed by record-setting sales. As Canadians increasingly gain confidence in artworks and cultural artifacts as promising and secure investments, a new wave of criminal activity in the art world is also taking root. It is a problem Canadian police are being forced to address while scrambling to locate the Reid items, which disappeared overnight last week from a closely guarded exhibit...
[National Post - February 19, 2009]



[In It For The Monet]
The Musée des Beaux Arts, Nice, France. August 5, 2007. “Haut les mains!” shouts the man in blue overalls and ski mask, pointing a Colt 45 pistol at the head of the woman behind the welcome desk. “Put your hands above your head!”
It’s Sunday lunch time...

[The London Sunday Times Magazine - November 2008]



As seen on the History Channel’s series - “Save Our History” – Robert Wittman re-enacts the successful recovery of The Peruvian Golden Backflap and other stolen treasures.”
Wednesday August 3rd, 2011 - ROBERT WITTMAN - Art crime investigator Robert Wittman recovers stolen paintings around the world and explains the challenges of museum security.”
Report on the Paris Modern Museum of Art theft, where $125 Million worth of art was stolen. ”