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Museum Director

Real-Life Indiana Jones Gary Vikan Reveals the Truth about World’s Art Treasures

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Anyone who has seen an Indiana Jones movie has regarded it with a sense of disbelief. Would an Ivy League scholar with a doctorate in ancient history really find himself in the middle of all kinds of shady characters, sketchy situations and stolen art? According to Gary Vikan Ph.D., an expert in late ancient and early medieval art who has helped collect priceless artwork for leading museums, duplicitous government officials and shady dealers are par for the course. In fact, it’s the art world’s dirty little secret—the glittering treasures on their pedestals and priceless paintings in their burnished frames that adorn museum walls are often either stolen or forged. How often? According to Newsweek, the U.S. Department of Justice and…

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Video: Interview with Gary Vikan and Sacred and Stolen: Confessions of a Museum Director

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Sacred and Stolen is the memoir of an art museum director with the courage to reveal what goes on behind the scenes. It lays bare the messy part of museums: looted antiquities, crooked dealers, deluded collectors, duplicitous public officials, fakes, inside thefts, bribery, and failed exhibitions. These back stories, at once shocking and comical, reveal a man with a taste for adventure, an eagerness to fan the flames of excitement, and comfort with the chaos that often ensued. This is also the story of a Minnesota kid who started out as a printer’s devil in his father’s small-town newspaper and ended up as the director of a the Walters, a gem of an art museum in Baltimore. Of his quest…

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