ART COP by Robert & Laurie Adams Volpe


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Cops come in a wide assortment of shapes, sizes and disguises. This one drives a white Lincoln Continental, wears jeans and sports a waxed handlebar mustache. Volpe is New York's one-man ""Art Identification Team"" -- a detective specially trained to recover masterpieces stolen from the galleries and museums. Adams, who sets most of this down, is quite infatuated with him, with his casual debonair style and the sense of drama which makes him see every case as theater. Volpe has helped recover prints for MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) and the Met, Tiffany lamps for a dealer and Georgian silver candlesticks for the Brooklyn Museum. Here you see him in action (on his days off he paints) consoling distraught dealers who've been ripped off, tracking down the thieves, forgers and con men who've recently invaded the market. Volpe and Adams believe that art heists are becoming increasingly international in scope and that organized crime is moving in. Volpe experiences some frustrations (the Met's purchase of that Greek vase and the flap that ensued is never resolved to his satisfaction) but does collar a good number of middle men and front men. It's not as exciting as it might be and except for the brush with Picasso and Utrillo, this is pretty much like any other cops and robbers book: ""Freeze! Police! They froze.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1974
Publisher: Dodd, Mead