Were it not for the guns, I often think I could have been a cop. Or an FBI agent. But if I were a cop or an FBI agent, I would want to investigate art theft. It has always fascinated me that people would be brazen enough to rob priceless works of art and resell them to people.
Hot Art looks at Art theft on a world-wide scale. The story is told from the perspective of an art thief (retired) from England, a lawyer in Canada, a cop in LA and and FBI Agent. The thing the book focused on, which I really hadn’t considered before, is that a LOT of art is stolen that we never hear about. Things like silver settings, statutes, carvings and art from private homes. They are easily sold at antiques stores, markets, etc. The pure scale of the theft is mind-blowing.
The book also discusses major art thefts and how, many times, they are organized thefts for a certain collector or they are stolen without the thief considering that they cannot fence the art because of how high profile the piece is.
The book also discusses how few people actually investigate art theft and how few departments have detectives, let alone units, to investigate the theft of art. They approach to investigation is so different from other property thefts. Many victims do not want to report the theft and do not want it publicized because of embarrassment, even though it increases the likelihood the art will be recovered.
I liked this book. It’s an easy read and it’s entertaining. The author fully researched the book and gained the trust of thieves and cops alike. If you are interested in the world of art theft, this book is a good general overview of that world.