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Lecture: FBI Art Theft Program: Myth and Reality in Cultural Property Crime

With Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, Program Manager, Art Theft Program, FBI

Friday, November 2, 2012, 8 pm

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FREE for Members
$5 for non-members

Many myths and misperceptions surround the world of art crime; the reality is even more interesting than the fictional accounts. Art crime is a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry. Fine art, rare books and manuscripts, vintage wine, memorabilia, coins, and other collectibles have a high dollar value and easily cross state and international boundaries. Theft, fraud, and smuggling make these objects a good target of opportunity. 

Since 2005, the Art Crime Team has taken on art crime and recovered more than 2,650 items valued at more than $150 million. Bonnie Magness-Gardiner will discuss FBI jurisdiction in these matters; share various case studies to illustrate how art crimes are identified, investigated, and prosecuted; and offer tips for protecting your collection.

About the Speaker

Bonnie Magness-Gardiner is Program Manager of the Art Theft Program at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. She manages the National Stolen Art File and provides support for the Art Crime Team, fourteen special agents investigating cultural property cases in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Magness-Gardiner received a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Arizona. After teaching archaeology for five years, she entered government service as program manager for the Archaeology Program at the National Endowment for the Humanities then became a program manager for the American Memory Project at the Library of Congress.

For eight years she was the Senior Cultural Property Analyst for the Department of State, implementing the 1970 UNESCO Convention against illicit traffic in cultural property. She served as the program manager for cultural heritage restoration projects in Iraq. Since June 2005, she has been with the FBI.

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