Wanna Learn About Expensive Art Heists? SMU's Got You Covered.

Any press release that starts with "retired art crime specialists from the FBI and Scotland Yard" has my attention. So the Meadows School's news announcement wins the Best Press Release of the Day award: a recycling bin pardon from the Mayor of the internet.

SMU will hold a week-long course called "The World of Art and the Fine Art of Crime," on October 14 to 18. They're bringing in the esteemed, above-mentioned talent for daily lectures on art management, operations and collecting, famous art crimes and international repatriation efforts. Those chats will be followed-up with visits to local museums, auction houses and galleries for talks with staffers.

It's unclear why art heists are such appealing subject matter, but they are. They're sexy and mysterious and linked to an underground trade of elite hoarding. Or, more recently topical, the destruction of masterworks. This class allows you complete immersion in the mind of a villain and schools you in art law to boot.

The education you get at this not-cheap program ($1,495) is richer than its paperback title implies. You'll also learn how gallery owners guide art lovers to curated collections; museum approaches to conservation and provenance issues; participate in a mock bidding experience at an auction house; and hear from international experts on cultural looting, both historical and modern. And who knows, maybe they'll teach you how to wiggle your fingers mischievously like a 1950s burglar. Here's to hoping.

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