Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Priceless" Has a Price After All

Law enforcement and the archaeological community are fond of claiming that repatriated artifacts are "priceless." Indeed, this term has such a nice ring to it that retired FBI Agent and SAFE honoree Robert Wittman named the book about his 20 year career as an art sleuth, "Priceless."

Well, it turns out at least the movie rights to Wittman's book do indeed have a price, at least according to a lawsuit Wittman filed against a would-be filmmaker of the story. See

More importantly, one also wonders if it is appropriate for a federal law enforcement official to be allowed to make money off his career in such a fashion. I'm sure Mr. Wittman is personally above reproach, but one can easily imagine the scenario where the prospect of fame and a movie deal might impact enforcement priorities in some fashion.

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