Finkel, who lives in Park City, met Stéphane Breitwieser at The Rubens House in Antwerp, Belgium, during the noon hour — because, Breitwieser had told the author, lunch was the best time to steal art.
As Finkel details in his book (which is published by Alfred A. Knopf, and went on sale June 27), Breitwieser was a notorious French art thief, responsible for 201 thefts, taking 300 separate pieces of art from more than 20 different museums.
Meeting Breitwieser at a museum made Finkel nervous, he said. “I’m entering a museum with the greatest art thief in history, and I’m having all these sort of journalistic crises, like, ‘What am I going to do if he steals something?,’” Finkel said.
Breitwieser was looking for one particular piece — “Adam and Eve,” an ivory sculpture made by Georg Petel in …