If Steve Martin, Robert De Niro, and Steven Spielberg can be had, so can you.
The Hollywood legends have each been a victim of art scams – Martin, most recently, as part of a giant art scandal unfolding in Germany.
The star paid $850,000 for what he believed was a 1915 painting by German expressionist Heinrich Campendonk. The actor-comedian told the New York Times that even experts were fooled – “the fakers were quite clever.”
“With art, it’s like the Wild West out there, totally unregulated, buyer beware,” said the founder of the FBI Art Crime Team and colleague, Robert K. Wittman, now a Philadelphia art-security consultant. “You’ve got to protect yourself.”
During his 20-year FBI career, Wittman was best known for rescuing stolen Rembrandts, Rodins, and Rockwells, but he also investigated several major scams – most notable, the “Antiques Roadshow” television scandal hatched by con artist Russell Pritchard III …
More on art crimes from Antique Trader
- First fine art crime investigation seminar open to the public planned for Philadelphia
- $25,000 reward for help recovering stolen Giaquinto antique fine art
- The U.S. vs. Art Thieves: Heritage presents FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman (Ret.), Nov. 11
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