Seabourn Conversations, Featured Speaker
Robert K. Wittman joined the FBI as a special agent in 1988. As a result of specialized training in art, antiques, jewelry and gem identification, he served as the FBI’s investigative expert involving cultural property crime. During his 20-year FBI career, he recovered more than $300 million worth of stolen art and cultural property which resulted in numerous prosecutions and convictions.
As a result of his unique experience, Mr. Wittman coauthored the FBI Cultural Property Investigative Manual in 2001. In 2005, he created the FBI’s rapid deployment national Art Crime Team (ACT). Mr. Wittman has represented the United States throughout the world conducting investigations and instructing international police and museums in recovery and use of high value asset security techniques in more than 20 countries. Mr. Wittman recently concluded a series of regional security and protection of cultural heritage training lectures to government agencies representing countries in Asia, Central Asia and Serbia sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Mr. Wittman is the recipient of numerous awards and commendations including the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service-Officer Level, presented by the president of Peru, the White Cross of Law Enforcement Merit with Distinction, by the government of Spain, Director's Award for Outstanding Contributions in Law Enforcement from the U.S. Department of Justice, Robert Burke Award for Cultural Property Protection from the Smithsonian Institution, and the S.A.F.E Beacon Award from Saving Antiquities for Everyone.
In 2010, Mr. Wittman penned his New York Times bestselling memoir “PRICELESS: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures.” His second book, “THE DEVIL’S DIARY: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich,” is a worldwide best seller published in 29 languages in more than 30 countries. He was featured in the History Channel series “Lost History” and recently filmed an investigation into the lost artifacts of General George Custer’s brigade at the battle of Little Big Horn in Montana. Mr. Wittman has served as an expert witness in multiple state and federal court cases. Mr. Wittman is now president of Robert Wittman Inc. The firm specializes in consulting in art matters which include expert witness testimony, investigation and collection management.