Smart Talks: Robert K. Wittman U.S. vs. Art Thieves: True Tales from the FBI's Real Indiana Jones

  • 7:30 PM–8:30 PM

240 Art Building West
141 N Riverside Drive, Iowa City

The Wall Street Journal called him “a living legend” and the Times of London said he was “the most famous art detective in the world.” Robert Wittman, for twenty years the FBI’s investigative expert on cultural property crime, will tell us about notorious art heists, daring undercover recoveries, and the true stories behind the headlines. His specialized training in art, antiques, jewelry, and gem identification led to the recovery of more than $300 million worth of stolen art and cultural property, numerous prosecutions and convictions—and stories worthy of a real-life Indiana Jones.

Robert Wittman joined the FBI as a special agent in 1988. In 2001 he coauthored the FBI’s manual on cultural property investigations, and in 2005 he created the FBI’s rapid-deployment national Art Crime Team (ACT). He has represented the United States in art-crime matters throughout the world, conducting investigations and instructing international police and museums in recovery and the use of security techniques. In 2010, Wittman published his memoir, Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures, the movie rights to which have recently been optioned by Cross Creek Pictures. He is now president of Robert Wittman Inc., a consulting firm that provides expert testimony, recovery investigation, museum security, and collection management.

Robert Wittman's visit is sponsored in part by The Iowa Innovation, Business & Law Center and the Iowa Hawk Shop. There will be a book signing following the lecture.

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Cost: Free


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in a program, please contact the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art in advance at 335-1727.