Brent Easter ’98, the subject of a 2015 Five Thirty Eight and ESPN Films documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Jason Kohn about the largest bust of stolen and smuggled antiquities in US history, has been dubbed “the Real-Life Indiana Jones.”
As a student at NFA, Easter was captain of the swim team, a pianist, and a history buff with a quick wit and an engaging smile. At the end of the month, he will return as special agent Brenton M. Easter, with the Homeland Security Department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency; he works in the Cultural Property Division, and his specialty is investigating international art and antiquity theft.
Easter’s experience is varied and storied. In March of this year, Easter was involved in the widely reported raid of the Nancy Weiner Gallery in New York City in a high profile crackdown on illicit trade in ancient Asian art. Confiscated were a first century red sandstone Kushan relief valued at $100,000, an eighth century limestone sculpture of Shiva and Parvati valued at $35,000, and a 10th century bronze Buddha from Thailand or Cambodia valued at $850,000. Easter worked on the long-term project which resulted in the downfall of Subhash Kapoor, New York art dealer whose international multimillion dollar smuggling ring robbed antiquities from temples and holy places in Southeast Asia and India and sold them to major museums in the world.
After working with students in the afternoon, Easter will be keynote speaker at Norwich Free Academy’s Slater Memorial Museum Friends of Slater annual meeting, 5-7 p.m., April 29, in Slater Auditorium. He will talk about his work in the Middle East and Egypt. The program is free and open to the public; reception to follow. For more information, visit www.slatermuseum.org.
The Slater Memorial Museum and Converse Art Gallery are part of Norwich Free Academy. Housed in an exemplary Romanesque Revival building (1886), the museum features full-scale plaster casts of Egyptian, Archaic, Greek, Roman and Renaissance sculpture; fine and decorative Art representing 350 years of Norwich History, Native American artifacts and an exhibition telling the story of William and Ellen Slater’s ’round-the-World tour on their Yacht Eleanor. The museum annually presents up to six temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. Open year ’round. Tues – Fri, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat/Sun 1 – 4 p.m..