Festival Saturday, February 17, 2024

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 5:55 p.m.

Cultural Arts Center, Ben Tucker Theater

201 Montgomery St, Savannah, GA 31401

Michael Finkel


For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than two hundred heists over nearly eight years—in museums and cathedrals all over Europe—Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than three hundred objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion.

In The Art Thief, Michael Finkel brings us into Breitwieser’s strange and fascinating world. Unlike most thieves, Breitwieser never stole for money. Instead, he displayed all his treasures in a pair of secret rooms where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed of a remarkable athleticism and an innate ability to circumvent practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtaking number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop—until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down.

This is a riveting story of art, crime, love, and an insatiable hunger to possess beauty at any cost.


Michael Finkel is the author of The Art Thief and The Stranger in the Woods, both international best-sellers, and True Story, which was adapted into a major motion picture. He has reported from more than 50 countries across six continents, and his writing has been featured in National Geographic, GQ, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives with his family in northern Utah.


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