Thursday, December 4, 2014

"Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art" by Joshua Knelman

"Hot Art" by Joshua Knelman
Douglas & McIntyre Publishers. 2011

Brief Review by Travis Simpkins

     In his ambitious 2011 book, Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art, Joshua Knelman offers new insights and projects studied focus on the illicit undercurrent of art theft… estimated to cause $4 to $6 Billion a year in losses worldwide. The tome looks at a series of passionate figures in the Art Crime field. Detective Donald Hrycyk heads the Art Theft Detail in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the only Municipal art theft unit in the United States, and took Knelman along on investigations and offered a unique look at the often-uphill battle he faces in tracking stolen works of art. Paul "Turbo" Hendry, a former Brighton "knocker" and stolen art middleman gives an insider's look and expert advice on theft: "Stay under the radar." Hendry's popular blog, Art Hostage, is  noted and many entertaining tales are woven in charismatic fashion in the many pages dedicated to him.  Former FBI Agent and Art Crime Team founder, Robert K. Wittman, provides his expertise in a brief interlude (Wittman had not yet retired and was quite busy at the time). Dick Ellis of Scotland Yard's Art and Antiques Squad offers his unique perspective on strategies to recover stolen art. Agencies such as the Art Loss Register and INTERPOL are prominently featured as well. Well-researched and expertly-written, Hot Art serves as an intriguing guide book to the world of Art Theft… an area that is altogether fascinating, entertaining and disturbing on a global level.

LAPD Detective Don Hrycyk

Scotland Yard's Dick Ellis

Paul "Turbo" Hendry

LAPD Detective Don Hrycyk

FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman

LAPD Detectives Stephanie Lazarus and Don Hrycyk