The Professor: Hunting for the Mafia's Missing Masterpiece

The Professor: Hunting for the Mafia's Missing Masterpiece

By Brazen

William Veres is in trouble. In 2018 he was arrested following the largest ever investigation by the Italian police’s art squad. They accuse him of running a pan-European art-smuggling ring with ties to the Sicilian mafia. He is alleged to have stolen $40 million worth of art and antiquities from Italy. Charged with 14 counts, including money laundering, forgery, wire fraud and conspiracy, he faces a jail term of up to 20 years.

But he has a plan to get out of trouble. In this four-part podcast, host Simon Willis follows him as he puts that plan into action. It’s a story that takes listeners deep into the underworld, and into the dark heart of the most famous criminal organization of them all – Cosa Nostra.

It is a story of drug dealers, hitmen, smugglers, spies – even a corrupt prime minister. And in the middle of it all is William Veres’s quest to save himself. How? By solving the coldest cold case in the history of art crime – the theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity.

The Professor is a series for Hidden Worlds, the home of unbelievable true stories and gripping investigations into shadowy places.

Stay subscribed to Hidden Worlds and get brand new series delivered to your favorite podcast app year-round. One podcast, endless stories.

For more, visit brazen.fm/hidden-worlds.

Episodes

Episode 4: The Fugitive

Veres receives some photographs of parts of the Caravaggio canvas. He follows the lead to a source in Belgium, who is close to the Sicilian mafia. The source provides crucial new information about what happened to the painting. And it points to one man: a mafioso who has been on the run for thirty years. Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus to get ad-free listening. The Professor is a series for Hidden Worlds, the home of unbelievable true stories and gripping investigations into shadowy places. Subscribe to Hidden Worlds and get brand new series delivered to your favorite podcast app year-round. One podcast, endless stories. For more, visit brazen.fm/hidden-worlds. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
18/12/23·35m 53s

Episode 3: Money for Nothing

Veres gets word that the mafia are willing to talk about returning stolen art. He meets a group of middlemen in Naples, who tell him there’s a canvas on offer. As Veres negotiates the return of the painting, we begin to doubt Veres and Brand’s account of how they recover stolen art. It looks like they risk breaking the law to get the painting back. In his quest to get himself out of trouble, is Veres getting himself deeper into it? Don’t want to wait for the next episode? Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus to listen to the full series today, and get ad-free listening. The Professor is a series for Hidden Worlds, the home of unbelievable true stories and gripping investigations into shadowy places. Subscribe to Hidden Worlds and get brand new series delivered to your favorite podcast app year-round. One podcast, endless stories. For more, visit brazen.fm/hidden-worlds. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
11/12/23·27m 2s

Episode 2: The Go-Between

Veres goes to Belgium to meet a contact who he believes can help him obtain vital information about the Caravaggio painting. The contact agrees to act as Veres’s go-between, connecting Veres with senior figures in the mafia hierarchy. Meanwhile, host Simon Willis delves into the past investigations of the case, and finds out why the official investigation went nowhere: it was closed down after it uncovered links between the Caravaggio theft and Mafiosi close to Italian politicians. Don’t want to wait for the next episode? Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus to listen to the full series today, and get ad-free listening. The Professor is a series for Hidden Worlds, the home of unbelievable true stories and gripping investigations into shadowy places. Subscribe to Hidden Worlds and get brand new series delivered to your favorite podcast app year-round. One podcast, endless stories. For more, visit brazen.fm/hidden-worlds. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
04/12/23·35m 31s

Episode 1: The Nativity

William Veres is arrested in a dawn raid – one of 50 simultaneous raids across Europe to bust his criminal gang. To get out of trouble he agrees a deal with Italian anti-mafia police: if he can help them solve the coldest cold case in the history of art theft, they will help him in his own case. In this episode, we follow Veres as he begins his quest to find Caravaggio’s Nativity, believed to be in the hands of Cosa Nostra. Don’t want to wait for the next episode? Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus to listen to the full series today, and get ad-free listening. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.
27/11/23·39m 26s

Introducing The Professor: Hunting for the Mafia's Missing Masterpiece

William Veres is in trouble. In 2018 he was arrested following the largest ever investigation by the Italian police’s art squad. They accuse him of running an art-smuggling ring with ties to the Sicilian mafia. He is alleged to have stolen $40 million worth of art and antiquities from Italy – and faces a jail term of up to 20 years. But he has a plan to get out of trouble. In this four-part podcast, host Simon Willis follows him as he puts that plan into action. It’s a story that takes listeners deep into the underworld, and into the dark heart of the most famous criminal organization of them all – Cosa Nostra. It is a story of drug dealers, hitmen, smugglers, spies – even a corrupt prime minister. And in the middle of it all is William Veres’s quest to save himself. How? By solving the coldest cold case in the history of art crime – the theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity. Episode one of The Professor will be released on 27 November 2023, with new episodes out on Mondays. Don’t want to wait for the next episode? Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and binge all four episodes, uninterrupted, on release day.
22/11/23·2m 39s

Meeting Simon Willis: Unlocking the secrets of a stolen masterpiece

Can an accused criminal solve the coldest cold case in the history of art crime? In this special pre-season bonus episode, Brazen co-founder Tom Wright speaks with Simon Willis about his upcoming podcast series, The Professor. Simon shares his experience following William Veres – an art merchant accused of stealing $40 million worth of antiquities – as he attempts to solve a legendary cold case and save himself from jail in the process. The Professor is a story of drug dealers, hitmen, smugglers, spies – even a corrupt prime minister. And in the middle of it all is William Veres’s quest to save himself. How? By solving the coldest cold case in the history of art crime – the theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity. Episode one of The Professor will be released on 27 November 2023, with new episodes out on Mondays. Don’t want to wait for the next episode? Subscribe to Brazen+ on Apple Podcasts or at brazen.fm/plus and binge all four episodes, uninterrupted, on release day.
20/11/23·11m 6s

Introducing Hidden Worlds

Right now, around the world, there are real life stories unfolding that you wouldn’t believe. Stories that are stranger than fiction. In Hidden Worlds, we’ll take you inside these stories and into places usually concealed from view. Every few weeks, we’ll use this feed to share a new podcast series with you — everything from organised crime to espionage, political corruption to international conspiracies. Subscribe to Hidden Worlds, the home of gripping investigations and unbelievable true stories, and get a brand new series delivered to your favourite podcast app every month. Up first is The Professor, a story of a stolen masterpiece, the Italian mafia, and one man’s search for redemption. Listen here, in Hidden Worlds, very soon. For more information, visit brazen.fm/hidden-worlds
13/11/23·1m 6s
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