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Monday Morning Roundup, Second Verse


by Jerome Weeks 15 Dec 2008

Man without a face, Part 2: You may remember former FBI agent Robert Wittman — once the head of the bureau’s National Art Crime Team. He came to Dallas last month to lecture at Heritage Auction Galleries about security measures that art owners can take to prevent heists or fraud. Now the BBC News reports […]

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  • Man without a face, Part 2: You may remember former FBI agent Robert Wittman — once the head of the bureau’s National Art Crime Team. He came to Dallas last month to lecture at Heritage Auction Galleries about security measures that art owners can take to prevent heists or fraud.

Now the BBC News reports on the man who, even in retirement, refuses to have his face photographed. (And yes,  he’s already writing a book about his undercover adventures retrieving millions in stolen paintings.) And oh yes, NPR has now talked to him, too.

  • Former Texas art critic Dave Hickey writes at length and with great amusement for Vanity Fair about the glitter, greed and grave economic sickness of the international art fair market:

“There was murmuring among the terminally refined. Access was restricted. In the run-up to a fair, whales were offered work sight unseen or invited by the gallery to pick something out before the unsold work was shipped to the fair. The collectors’ preview was reduced to a clearance sale for locals, art advisers, restaurateurs, and cruise-ship auctioneers. Fairs stayed profitable, but buzz plummeted. High-end hookers of many sexes stopped booking their flights. Everyone’s great aunt was happy because gated access obliterated the reason for staging an art fair in the first place: to attract new money!”

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