Alla prima. Stagehand -- Crimes against history -- Provenance. Making of an agent -- Mask of the man with the broken nose -- The accident -- Inspiration -- A new life -- Body of work. The gold man -- History out the back door -- A blood cloth -- Befriend & betray -- The con artist -- A hot hand -- The property of a lady -- National treasure -- Art crime team -- The old master -- Operation masterpiece. Mrs. Gardner -- Cold case -- A French connection -- Laurenz & Sunny -- Allies & enemies --- A coward has no scar -- Suspicious minds -- End game.
Robert K. Wittman, the founder of the FBI's Art Crime Team, pulls back the curtain on his remarkable career, offering a real-life international thriller. The son of an antique dealer, Wittman built a twenty-year career going undercover, usually unarmed, to catch art thieves, scammers, and black market traders in Paris and Philadelphia, Rio and Santa Fe, Miami and Madrid. Wittman tells 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 rare Civil War battle flag carried into battle by one of the nation's first African-American regiments. The art thieves and scammers he caught run the gamut from rich to poor, smart to foolish, organized criminals to desperate loners. Wittman has saved hundreds of millions of dollars worth of art and antiquities, but he considers them all equally priceless.--From publisher description.