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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tragic Death for renowned Art Cop, A Broken Heart??

`Art cop' and author Robert Volpe dies at 63

11/30/2006, 11:13 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Volpe, a retired NYPD detective renowned for tracking down art fraud and theft — and the father of the officer imprisoned for the notorious attack on Abner Louima — has died at the age of 63.

Volpe, who wrote "Art Cop," a book about his experiences, died of a heart attack on Tuesday. He attained fame in the 1970s as the only detective in the country assigned to investigate art fraud and theft.

Volpe, who lived on Staten Island, was a graduate of Manhattan's High School of Art and Design, and had his first gallery showing in his late teens. After serving in the Army in the early 1960s, he briefly worked as a graphic designer before joining the New York Police Department.

He spent 10 years working undercover before becoming the department's art-theft expert. After his retirement in the early 1980s, he lectured at universities and government forums, including the FBI training facility in Quantico, Va.

Justin Volpe, the youngest of his three sons, pleaded guilty in 1997 to sodomizing the handcuffed Louima with a broken broomstick. Two other officers were convicted of obstructing the investigation into the brutal attack.

Robert Volpe is survived by his wife, Grace; two other sons, Rob and Damian; two brothers, Andrew and John; and a sister, Jane Graziano.

A viewing was scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the Scalia Funeral Home on Staten Island. A funeral Mass will be held Saturday morning at Holy Child Church, with burial at the Resurrection Cemetery.

Information from: New York Post,

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