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  • Mark Heard

On Wednesday night the Chicago Artists’ Coalition hosts Appropriating Art: An Evening of Art Theft Unveiled, which features a discussion with former FBI agent and art-theft investigator Robert Spiel, who earlier in the decade was profiled in the Reader by Jeff Huebner. Spiel cracked what was then the biggest art theft in U.S. history, the 1978 disappearance of three Cezanne paintings from the Art Institute—the culprit turned out to be a museum shipping clerk. After entering the private sector, Spiel wrote a book called Art Theft and Forgery Investigation: The Complete Field Manual, which he advertised as “the first and only police manual on art crime.” Huebner detailed Spiel’s quarries: