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Wed Jul 1, 2020, 06:27 AM

The FBI Agents Who Return Stolen Cultural Artifacts

Figuring out where looted treasures belong can take a whole lot of detective work.

JUNE 28, 2020

The first day of April, in 2014, dawned “gray, cold, rainy, ugly,” recalls Tim Carpenter, a supervisory special agent of the FBI’s Art Theft Program in Washington, D.C. Early that morning, his team knocked on the door of Don Miller’s farmhouse in Waldron, Indiana.

Part of that team was cultural anthropologist Holly Cusack-McVeigh, who remembers being so nervous that she hadn’t slept the night before. Although she had experienced many human cultures, law enforcement was new to her. “This was way beyond my comfort zone,” she says.

A tip to the FBI had brought Carpenter and Cusack-McVeigh to Miller’s door. According to the tipster, Miller had an extensive trove of illegally looted cultural objects, along with some human remains. In preparation for what Carpenter suspected would be a massive seizure of cultural property, he had asked Cusack-McVeigh, based at the nearby Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, to assist with the operation.

But this was no predawn raid led by armored agents with guns drawn. The team took care to respect Miller—who was surprised but cooperative—and his home. They sat down with the collector for an hours-long discussion before they began to empty the farmhouse of objects.


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Reply The FBI Agents Who Return Stolen Cultural Artifacts (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jul 2020 OP
Alliepoo Jul 2020 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2020, 06:54 AM

1. Very interesting!

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