April 16, 2014

Cyprus: Antiquities bust in Aphrodite’s city

Hoard found in Mr. X's house (Photo from Alithia Online)
by Christiana O'Connell-Schizas

On Thursday, February 27th, a 58-year old Cypriot man (Mr X) was arrested in Cyprus for illegal possession of ancient artefacts. The Paphos CID detectives, acting on a tip, raided Mr X’s house in Peyia where they found [1]: 58 amphorae, 20 golden artefacts and six bayonets from the Hellenistic period (323-31BC).  These items were confiscated, along with five firearms dating to the early 20th century, a Russian AK-47, a metal detector, coins, jewellery, gold chalices and €9.411 in cash. Mr. X could not provide convincing explanations as to the provenance of any of the objects.[2] The Department of Antiquities is inspecting the artefacts collected as evidence from Mr X's house in anticipation of his trial before the Paphos District Court.

Another view of Mr. X's stash
According to Cypriot Antiquity Law, any antiquity that remains undiscovered as of 1935 is the property of the Government. Antiquities accidentally discovered by unlicensed persons (whether found on their land or not) must be delivered to the mukhtar or other authorised persons, such as the police or a museum. To be in compliance for the law, Mr. X would have had to acquire the item before 1935 and have registered it with the Director of Antiquities by 1 January 1974.[3] In practice today, chance finders are often granted a license to possess (and sell) antiquities so long as the Department of Antiquities does not want them. Following Mr X's arrest on suspicion of illegal possession of antiquities, it is not clear whether or not he approached such authorities, whether he knew or reasonably believed the antiquities to be illicitly excavated, or whether he may have dug them up himself. If this is the case, the court will most likely confiscate the artefacts and deliver them to the Director of Antiquities. Mr X could face imprisonment up to three years and/or a fine.

Blank form to operate metal detector
Any person in possession of a metal detector must complete and submit a form to the Director of Antiquities (a blank copy of the said form can be found to the right.) If an individual is successful in obtaining this license, they can only metal-detect in areas specified by the Minister by a notice in the Republic’s Official Gazette. There have been no recent notices designating metal-detecting areas. If Mr X is found to not possess the requisite metal-detector license he could be found liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years and/or to a fine not exceeding €30.000.

In my discussion with an individual from Department of Antiquities, finding looted antiquities in Cypriot houses, particularly in more remote areas of the island, is very common. The day Mr. X was arrested, gun shots were heard in Peristerona.[4] Two days later, four men -- two with gunshots wounds -- were arrested and the incident was attributed to an attempt to settle a score between rival gangs. According to a person working in the Department of Antiquities, upon inspection of one of the men's houses, illicitly excavated antiquities were found. No newspaper published this event and I only came to know about it from a discussion with the unnamed individual working in the Department of Antiquities.[5]

Are all these busts related to one another? Is each individual smuggling their contraband abroad and selling it themselves on the grey market[6] or is there a 'Medici/Becchina' figure who is facilitating the sale of antiquities? In 2010, police caught a cartel of ten smugglers that were attempting to sell 4,000-year old urns, silver coins and figurines, worth an estimate of €11 million (approximately $15 million)[7]. Could their associates still be in 'business'? How large and how far does this ring of organised crime[8] extend in Cyprus?

[1] "Stolen Relics Arrest." InCyprus.com. Philenews. 28 Feb. 2014.
[3] There is a lot of criticism of this 1973 amendment to the Antiquities Law. The illicit trade in antiquities flourished in Cyprus in the 1960s. The Department of Antiquities tried to control it by imposing the six-month registration period (the amendment in June 1973 allowed collectors until 31 December 1973 to register their collections). This however had the adverse effect of intensifying looting and illicit trade - private collectors became greedy and wanted to acquire as many artefacts as possible so as they could register them by the deadline. More than 1250 new private collections appeared during this period, many of which purchased artefacts directly from looters. (See Hardy, Sam A. "Cypriot Antiquities Law on Looted Artefacts and Private Collections." Web log post. Human Rights Archaeology: Cultural Heritage in Conflict., 11 Jan. 2011.) 
[4] Psillides, Constantinos. "New Arrest in Case of Peristerona Shoot-out." 
[5] The Director of Antiquities (who is responsible for press releases) failed to respond to my telephone calls or e-mails in regards to this article. 
[6] Illicit antiquities are frequently sold on the open market. McKenzie argues that, because the trade in antiquities is legal, it turns the issue from black and white to an ambiguous shade of grey. See Mackenzie, Simon, 'The Market as Criminal and Criminals in the Market: Reducing Opportunities for Organised Crime in the International Antiquities Market'. 
[8] Vulnerabilities in the antiquities trade have presented the opportunity to make a profit through organised crime. Art. 2(a) of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime 2000 defines organised crime as being: “[a] structured group of three or more persons... acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences... to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit.” The following subsections go on to define 'serious crimes' and 'structured group', but it is evident that the group arrested in 2010 fits the UN definition. Although there are various definitions for organised crime, the UN's definition is broader than say that of the FBI's to include crimes such as antiquities, which are not necessarily motivated by money; they also do not need to be in a formal organisation but must have committed criminal not civil offences.

References:


Cyprus Antiquities Law.

"Cyprus Antiquities Smuggling Ring Broken up." BBC News. BBC, 25 Jan. 2010.

Brief Telephone Discussion with an unnamed individual working in the Department of Antiquities. 

Hardy, Sam A. "Cypriot Antiquities Law on Looted Artefacts and Private Collections." Web log post. Human Rights Archaeology: Cultural Heritage in Conflict., 11 Jan. 2011. Web. 

Mackenzie, Simon. 2011: 'The Market as Criminal and Criminals in the Market: Reducing Opportunities for Organised Crime in the International Antiquities Market'. in: S. Manacorda and D. Chappell, (eds) Crime in the Art and Antiquities World: Illegal Trafficking in Cultural Property. New York: Springer, New York; 69 - 86.

Psillides, Constantinos. "New Arrest in Case of Peristerona Shoot-out." Cyprus Mail. N.p., 15 Mar. 2014.

"Stolen Relics Arrest." InCyprus.com. Philenews. 28 Feb. 2014.

"Αυτό δεν ήταν σπίτι αλλά…μουσείο." Alithia Online. Aλήθεια, 28 Feb. 2014. Web.

April 13, 2014

Presenters Lined up for ARCA's Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Amelia June 27-29, 2014

Here is a list of the scheduled presenters for ARCA's 6th annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference on June 28 and 29, 2014. The two-day conference aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of the protection of art and cultural heritage by bringing together academics, police, members of the art world, as well as the students attending ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. The conference is free of charge aside from related meals and will be held in Amelia, Italy in the heart of Umbria.  Each year at this event,  ARCA presents its annual Awards—chosen by ARCA’s Trustees and past award winners—to honor outstanding scholars and professionals dedicated to the protection and recovery of art and cultural heritage.

Highlights from Recent US and EU Investigations
The Fall of the House of Knoedler: Fakes, Deception and Naiveté 
James C Moore, Esq,
Arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes
Formerly, partner and trial lawyer with large New York law firm and president of New York State Bar Association

Hello Dalí: Anatomy of a Modern Day Art Theft Investigation
Jordan Arnold Esq.
K2 Intelligence
Former Assistant District Attorney and Head, Financial Intelligence Unit, New York County District Attorney's Office

The Gurlitt Case: German and international responses to the legal and ethical questions to ownership rights in looting cases
Duncan Chappell, PhD Lawyer and Criminologist, Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney
 and
Saskia Hufnagel, PhD Lecturer in Criminal Law, Queen Mary University of London
Rechtsanwalt - Fachanwalt Strafrecht, Hufnagel und Partner

The many faces of the Illegal Heritage Trade

Papyri, collectors and the antiquities market: a survey and some questions
Roberta Mazza, PhD University of Bologna
Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Classics and Ancient History, University of Manchester
Research Fellow, John Rylands Research Institute - John Rylands Library

Using open-source data to identify participation in the illicit antiquities trade: A case study on the intercommunal conflict in Cyprus, 1963-1974
Sam Hardy, DPhil University of Sussex
Illicit antiquities trade researcher
Research Associate, Centre for Applied Archaeology, University College London

 •The Dikmen Conspiracy: The Illicit Removal, Journey and Trade of Looted Ecclesiastical Antiquities from Occupied Cyprus
Christiana O'Connell-Schizas, LLB University of Kent, LPC University of Law
Baker & McKenzie, Riyadh

Stolen Art Restitution Claims and the Exhaustion of Local Remedies: How Foreign-Based Plaintiffs are Able to Succeed Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act
Chris Michaels, JD, Albany Law School
Attorney, Cruser & Mitchell, LLP

 The Vulnerabilities of Sacred Art in situ: Yesterday and Still Today
• The theft and ransom of Caravaggio’s “St. Jerome writing” from the Co-Cathedral of St. John
Rev. Dr. Marius Zerafa, O.P. S.T.L., Lect. Th., A.R. Hist. S., Dr. Sc.Soc
Founder of the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta
Former Curator and Director of the Malta     Museums

 • Fighting the Thieves in Italian Churches 
 Judith Harris, Journalist (ARTnews; www.i-italy.org
 Author, Pompeii Awakened, The Monster in the Closet

Forgery, Fraud, and Bibliomania 
Would the real Mr. Goldie please stand up?
Penelope Jackson M. Phil, University of Queensland, MA University of Auckland
Director, Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, New Zealand

‘It’s beyond my control’ An historic and psychiatric investigation into the claim of bibliomania
Anna Knutsson MA (Hon) University of St. Andrews
Research Editor Smith Library

Smart Collecting and Connoisseurship
 • What’s wrong with this picture? Standards and issues of connoisseurship
Tanya Pia Starrett, MA HONS LLB, University of Glasgow
Solicitor

The Art Collecting Legal Handbook: a comparative look at Art Law in 30 countries in the world Massimo Sterpi, Avvocato
Partner, Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati

In the Red Corner: “Connoisseurship and Art History”, and the Blue Corner: “Scientific Testing and Analysis” – Who’s right in determining Authenticity?
Toby Bull, Senior Inspector of Police, Hong Kong Police Force
Founder, TrackArt (Art Risk Consultancy), Hong Kong

Cultural Heritage and Armed Conflict, Reflections from Past and Present
File Zadar: New insights on art works taken from Zadar to Italy during World War II
Antonija Mlikota, PhD University of Rijeka
Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Zadar

IMCuRWG Blue Shield cultural assessment mission to Timbuktu
Joris Kila, PhD University of Amsterdam Chairman of the ‘International Military Cultural Resources Work Group’ (IMCuRWG).
Universität Wien,Kompetenzzentrum Kulturelles Erbe und Kulturgüterschutz, Universität Wien,
Alois-Musil-Center für Orientalische Archäologie, U.S.AFRICOM

A modern look at an Eternal Problem: Sixty years after the creation of the 1954 Hague Convention
Cinnamon Stephens, JD
Esquire

Perspectives from Holland

 • To be Announced

 Key Note Closing – A look to the future
Is International Law for the Protection of Artistic Freedom Adequate?”
Eleni Moschouri, PhD University of Manchester, MA, MJur University of Birmingham
Attorney at Law at the Supreme Court of Greece

This event opens with a icebreaker cocktail on June 27th at the Palazzo Farrattini. The conference will be held June 28 and 29, 2014 at the Sala Boccarini, inside the cloister of the Biblioteca Comunale L.Lama adjacent to the Museo Civico Archeologico e Pinacoteca “Edilberto Rosa” in Amelia, Italy. Sessions begin at 9:00 am, with a break for coffee mid morning and mid afternoon as well as an optional Saturday lunch and optional Italian slow food dinner saturday evening..

This 2-day conference is open to the public and all are welcome. Registration is required, but the conference is free of charge subject to space availability. To reserve a placement for one or both days sessions, please write to italy.conference (at) artcrimeresearch.org and provide your full name and names of those attending with you, your email address, and your preference for either or both day's sessions.

April 12, 2014

Dr. Daniela Rizzo and Mr Maurizio Pellegrini Win ARCA's 2014 Art Protection & Recovery Award

Dr. Daniela Rizzo and Mr Maurizio Pellegrini, Soprintendenza Beni Archeologici Etruria Meridionale at the Villa Giulia, have won ARCA's 2014 Art Protection & Recovery Award. Past winners have included: Vernon Rapley and Francesco Rutelli (2009), Charlie Hill and Dick Drent (2010), Lord Colin Renfrew and Paolo Giorgio Ferri (2011), Karl von Habsburg, Dr. Joris Kila Ernst Schöller (2012), Sharon Cohen Levin and Christos Tsirogiannis (2013).

Dott.ssa Daniela Rizzo and Maurizio Pellegrini are employees of Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) who work directly for the Soprintendenza for Southern Etruria's Archeological Heritage which covers the archaeological territories of Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Vulci, Veio, Lucas Feroniae, Civitavecchia, Sutri , Tuscania, Pyrgi, Volsinii and San Lorenzo Nuovo. Dr. Rizzo oversees the department of Goods Control and Circulation with the assistance of Massimo Pellegrini. Their offices are located at the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia. One of the main commitments of their department and the Soprintendenza overall is the fighting of criminal activities and illegal traffic of archaeological objects from the southern territories.

In 1985 the Soprintendenza set up a special service, "The Office of confiscation and illicit excavations" (ufficio sequestri e scavi clandestini), which constantly monitors the phenomenon of illegal excavations and the finds of illegal trafficking. To achieve this goal, their office began working closely with Italy’s National Judicial Authority and the security forces (Carabinieri TPC and Guardia di Finanza), which work together in this sector. This collaboration aims to recover Italian archaeological materials that have been taken away illegally from the national territory and often have ended up in important foreign collections. Since 1995, their work has achieved very positive results and has resulted in the identification of numerous archaeological objects taken illegally and found in a number of American and European museums or in private collections abroad. Based on the inspection of and matching between confiscated photographs and documents, their investigations have facilitated negotiations between American and European museums which have often concluded in important cultural agreements rather than lengthy judicial prosecutions. Thanks to these agreements, archaeological finds are regularly being returned to Italy from places like New York and Boston. Through their in-depth work, the famous Euphronios crater, now on display in the new rooms of Villa Giulia, has been recognized as property of the Italian state and was returned to Rome in 2008 from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Similar agreements have been concluded with the Princeton University Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J.P. Getty Museum of Malibu. In cases where traffickers have been identified their work with the "Procura della Repubblica" (Italian prosecutor's office) and the Court of Rome has made it possible, in some circumstances, to try specific cases associated with illegal trafficking of antiquities within Italy. Cases of note include the exemplary punishment imposed by the Court of Rome on an Italian trafficker, who operated in Switzerland and the 2005 criminal proceedings that were initiated against Marion True, the former curator who purchased trafficked archaeological objects for The Paul Getty Museum, and cases involving Robert Hecht. As a result of their work and the recovery of objects, a room in the Villa Giulia has housed a temporary traveling exhibition to increase the public’s awareness to the impact of trafficking, the significance of the problem and what is being done to combat it. The carefully curated exhibition included numerous objects which have been repatriated from Southern Etruria as well as examples of documents used in their ongoing investigations and prosecutions by the Italian authorities.

April 11, 2014

ARCA Lecturer Judge Arthur Tompkins to discuss The Ghent Altarpiece, a stolen masterpiece, on National Radio's show with Kim Hill in NZ

ARCA Lecturer Judge Arthur Tompkins is scheduled as a guest with National Radio's Kim Hill (New Zealand's version of National Public Radio) in the first of a series about stolen masterpieces. On Saturday in New Zealand at 9.40 a.m., Judge Tompkins spoke about The Ghent Altarpiece.  You can listen in at http://www.radionz.co.nz//, clicking on the "Listen Live to National" link up near the top left corner, or download the interview from the site for a recording.

Simon Mackenzie Awarded ARCA's 2014 Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Excellence in Art Crime Scholarship

Simon Mackenzie, Trafficking Culture project at the University of Glasgow, is the winner of ARCA's 2014 Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Excellence in Art Crime Scholarship. Past winners: Norman Palmer (2009); Larry Rothfield (2010); Neil Brodie (2011); Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino (Jointly - 2012); and Duncan Chappell (2013).

Simon Mackenzie is Professor of Criminology, Law & Society in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow, where he is also a member of the criminological research staff at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, a cross-institutional organization conducting national and international criminological research projects.

Prof Mackenzie co-ordinates the Trafficking Culture research group, which is a pioneering interdisciplinary collaboration producing research evidence on the scale and nature of the international market in looted cultural objects, including regional case studies of trafficking networks and evaluative measures of the effects of regulatory interventions which aim to control this form of trafficking. Trafficking Culture is funded with a €1m research grant from the European Research Council. The group employs a core group of researchers plus an affiliate Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, and four PhD research students, making it a world-leading center for study in this field. As well as producing research evidence, the team are developing educational resources for the next generation of scholars via a new course, run for the first time in 2014, on International Trafficking in Cultural Objects, offered as part of the three Criminology Masters pathways which Prof Mackenzie convenes at Glasgow: the MRes Criminology; the MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice; and the MSc Transnational Crime, Justice & Security.

Simon’s research on the international market in illicit cultural objects began with his PhD, leading to the publication in 2005 of Going, Going, Gone: Regulating the Market in Illicit Antiquities, which won the British Society of Criminology Book Prize that year. The book was mainly an empirical study of attitudes and practices of high-end dealers in relation to their engagement with looted artefacts, and an analysis of the implications for regulation and control of the various neutralizing and justificatory narratives surrounding handling illicit objects at the top end of the market.

From 2005-07, in a study with Prof Penny Green funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, Simon extended this analysis by looking at the market’s reaction to the onset of explicit criminalization in a case study of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003. This research was published in Mackenzie and Green (eds) Criminology and Archaeology: Studies in Looted Antiquities (2009), part of the Onati International Series on Law and Society and based around the proceedings of a workshop at the Onati International Institute for the Sociology of Law exploring the interdisciplinary possibilities of a field of study based both in archaeology and criminology.

Simon has worked with a number of international organisations, providing research-based input to support initiatives to reduce the international trade in looted cultural objects: eg. he has worked with UNODC in producing briefing documents for UN member states in their 2009 enquiry into Trafficking Cultural Property, leading to policy recommendations made at the UN Commissions and Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; and he is currently on the editorial committee of ICOM’s International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods.

Prof Mackenzie is a member of the Peer Review Committee of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Associate Editor of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, and a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology. His criminological research has been supported by grants and contracts from funders including the EU, ESRC, AHRC, both the UK and Scottish Governments, and the UN.

April 10, 2014

Anne Webber awarded ARCA's 2014 Award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art

Anne Webber, founder and director of The Commission for Looted Art In Europe, has won ARCA's 2014 award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art which recognizes her many decades of excellence in the field. Past winners: Carabinieri TPC collectively (2009), Howard Spiegler (2010), John Merryman (2011), Dr. George H. O. Abungu (2012), Blanca Niño Norton (2013).

Anne Webber, together with David Lewis, is founder and Co-Chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE) and co-founder and Director of the Central Registry of Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945 at www.lootedart.com, set up in 2001 as an independent charitable body under the auspices of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The Registry is an international research centre and online repository of detailed research, news and information from 49 countries and an onine database of 25,000 objects.

Anne Webber was a member of the drafting team of Council of Europe Resolution 1205 (1999) on the restitution of looted cultural property in Europe, on the organising committee of the Vilnius International Forum 2000 and the Prague Conference 2009 and is a member of the Advisory Council of the European Shoah Legacy Institute. She was a member of the British Spoliation Advisory Committee which supervised the provenance research work of British museums throughout its term of 1999-2008. She was a member of the Hunt Museum Review Group and is on the Executive Board of the International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property. She founded and chaired the UK's International Tracing Service (ITS) Stakeholder Committee which negotiated the UK's taking a digital copy of the ITS records to be housed at The Wiener Library, London. She is a member of the UK Government Delegation to the International Commission which governs the ITS, and is a member of The Wiener Library's ITS Oversight Committee. She is a Governor of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, President of the Jewish Book Council and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

April 4, 2014

FBI reportedly seizes private collection of cultural artifacts of 91-year-old Donald C. Miller with any arrest or charge; retired FBI agent Virginia Curry and anthropologist Kathleen Whitaker add their perspective

The Indianapolis Star interviewed Miller in 1998.
by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor

Diana Penner, a journalist for The Indianapolis Star reported in an article ("FBI seizes thousands of artifacts from rural Ind. home", April 3) published by USA Today (along with contributions from the Associated Press) that on Wednesday, April 2, FBI agents took:
"thousands" of cultural artifacts, including American Indian items, from the private collection of a 91-year-old man who had acquired them over the past eight decades. ... The Rush County man, Don Miller, has not been arrested or charged. Robert A. Jones, special agent in charge of the Indianapolis FBI office, would not say at a news conference specifically why the investigation was initiated, but he did say the FBI had information about Miller's collection and acted on it by deploying its art crime team. FBI agents are working with art experts and museum curators, and neither they nor Jones would describe a single artifact involved in the investigation, but it is a massive collection. Jones added that cataloging of all of the items found will take longer than "weeks or months." 
"Frankly, overwhelmed," is how Larry Zimmerman, professor of anthropology and museum studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis described his reaction. "I have never seen a collection like this in my life except in some of the largest museums." 
The monetary value of the items and relics has not been determined, Jones said, but the cultural value is beyond measure. In addition to American Indian objects, the collection includes items from China, Russia, Peru, Haiti, Australia and New Guinea, he said. The items were found in a main residence, in which Miller lives; a second, unoccupied residence on the property; and in several outbuildings, Jones said. The town originally was Iroquois land. The objects were not stored to museum standards, Jones said, but it was apparent Miller had made an effort to maintain them well. The aim of the investigation is to determine what each artifact is, where it came from and how Miller obtained it, Jones said, to determine whether some of the items might be illegal to possess privately. Jones acknowledged that Miller might have acquired some of the items before the passage of U.S. laws or treaties prohibited their sale or purchase. In addition, the investigation could result in the "repatriation" of any of the cultural items, Jones said. 
Dark Rain Thom, a Shawnee descendant who served on the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission under three governors, said the motives of such collectors vary, and that it's not uncommon for collections to come to light when an elderly person dies and descendants try to figure out what to do with artifacts. Often, she said, family members then quietly donate them to museums or arrange to return them to specific tribes — if that provenance can be determined. Some collectors are motivated by money, as the artifacts' sale can be lucrative, Thom said. But others with interests in archaeology or anthropology are motivated by a desire to understand the development of a culture through its art items and everyday implements. And others, Thom said, are in it for the thrill of discovery. The FBI and its partners might have a daunting task determining the origins and provenance of all of the items, Thom predicted. "It may be 30 years — or never — before they have it all cataloged."
The ARCA blog asked Virginia Curry, a retired FBI agent and a licensed private investigator, for additional perspective. Ms. Curry teaches art crime investigations with retired Scotland Yard officer Dick Ellis:
The United States Federal Code Title 18 Section 668. defines a Museum as: (1) ‘‘museum’’ means an organized and permanent institution, the activities of which affect interstate or foreign commerce, that— (A) is situated in the United States;(B) is established for an essentially educational or aesthetic purpose; (C) has a professional staff; and (D) owns, utilizes, and cares for tangible objects that are exhibited to the public on a regular schedule. (2) ‘‘object of cultural heritage’’ means an object that is—(A) over 100 years old and worth in excess of $5,000; or (B) worth at least $100,000. 
One might argue that Donald Miller's collection, in a rural area of Indiana satisfies the federal definition of a museum. While the affidavit in support of the search warrant on this 91-year-old man's home is not yet available on the Internet for review, it appears that there is no evidence that Mr. Miller is a physical threat or would cause harm to the artifacts he has so carefully maintained and displayed to his neighbors on request (on request, by the way, is as regular a schedule as one might ask for in such a rural Indiana community). There does not appear, at present, to be any indication that Mr. Miller is a danger to federal agents or that he would not have cooperated, if asked, in their investigation. Mr. Miller not only served his country on a highly important project at Los Alamos, but he also continued his life of service as a missionary. The artifacts he collected into his "Wunderkammer" were not only collected during his travel, but were also previously profiled in print media. Therefore, the "full corps press" (with an FBI Mobile Command Post) assault on this rural community appears to be extraordinary and an unnecessary show of force by the FBI and any other participating federal agency. I wonder if they contemplated entry on the home of the 91-year-old man with an FBI SWAT team? Regarding the suggestion that Miller’s collection was not maintained is "by museum standards" -- this is a qualification for accreditation of a museum by the AAM (American Association of Museums) and not a standard under federal law for the definition of a museum collection. I suspect that Mr. Miller might have been persuaded before this event to work with the FBI, or any other agency, and the same expertise the FBI will now have to employ to evaluate, inventory and collect this material in anticipation of an eventual legacy donation to another facility. Instead, this is an embarrassing and unnecessary show of force by the FBI to a community that is likely experiencing their first contact with the FBI.
The ARCA blog asked Dr. Kathleen Whitaker, former director, Indian Arts Research Center, School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, to add a museum professional’s perspective to this story:
Virginia is right, there is no info forthcoming on why the FBI chose to assault this home with so much force. A search warrant has yet to be revealed. I personally find this descent on, and intrusion into a private home a bit disconcerting. I guess the provocation is yet to be revealed, but the number of agents that descended on the site seems outrageously overdrawn. What did they expect from this 91-year-old man? Cannons and oozies? 
AAM standards that define what a museum should be, align somewhat with the federal code; and, of course there are many differences between the 'types’ of museums that are identified, goals, purpose, adequate resources and public engagement - hence differences in the application of standards for each type of facility. AAM was not set up to enforce legal matters the federal code was - so naturally there is a difference in intent. Mr. Miller's establishment aligns more with what AAM would define as an "art museum," although I am unsure what his tax status might suggest in terms of operation. But yes, he is the owner-staff, he shares his collection with the public (assuming by appointment), and he maintains the artifacts through exhibition in glass cases, etc., and provides identity labels for those items on display (according to visuals seen in news reports and video). It seems probable, however, he does not identify his establishment as a " public museum" but rather as a private collection that he willingly shares with others. Legally then, his establishment does not seem to be functioning/operating under any tax or other "code" or "law" (at least that I am, at this writing, aware of). It is unclear to me how old his artifacts REALLY are based on media hype, but a few professionals such as archaeologists, anthropologists and the like have been "called in" to help identify the collection. One might summarily assume, there are both old and ethno- and historically important pieces among the artifacts in this vast collection. All the specifics have yet to be determined. Whatever the outcome, such outrageous ideas that it could take "30 years" to catalogue all the material is just plain inaccurate! 
FBI involvement (if based on the collection alone) suggests the problem could involve violations of NAGPRA [Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act], the Antiquity Act, The Indigenous Religious Freedom Act, Fish and Wildlife "feather" violations on artifacts, et al. Or perhaps the suggestion of illegal acquisition or transport across state and perhaps even country boundaries would mandate an FBI investigation - but not invasion! Usually collections of this magnitude are well known among professionals in the area, so I find surprising the local university professor was "frankly overwhelmed" by the collection's magnitude. It might be embarrassing to the university if it admitted knowledge of the collection's contents and it turns out there are violations. Finally, I have many more questions than answers. Primarily among them is: WHO informed the FBI? And WHY?
According to Frank Denzler reporting for the Rushville Republican: During his lifetime, Miller has traveled extensively throughout the world and is a known collector of Native American artifacts – a collection that encompasses not only his residence, but also a number of outlying buildings on his rural property.

Journalist Teresa Mackin included a video of Miller's collection during her report on WISHTV published on the station's website.

Jill Disis and Chris Sikich in Indiana reported for the IndyStar:
In rural Rush County, few are the people who have not heard of the house on 850 West — and the tales of the man who resides within. Some have seen the spectacles that pack the home, from the life-size Chinese terra-cotta figurine on the front porch to the seemingly authentic Egyptian sarcophagus in the basement. [...] But none of the stories friends and former colleagues shared with The Indianapolis Star on Thursday came close to explaining the latest mystery surrounding 91-year-old Don Miller, brought on by a throng of FBI agents that surrounded his house Tuesday.Why did they begin removing thousands of artifacts from Miller's home despite not charging him with a crime or placing him under arrest? And why, two days later, were they still there? "It's odd. The whole situation is odd," said Elizabeth Dykes, an acquaintance of Miller's who lives in Richmond. "I about flipped my lid yesterday when I saw this. What could he of all people have to hide?"
Paul Barford pointed out on his blog "Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues" that in an article authored by Andy Proffet in the Shelbynews on April 3, "FBI working with artifact collector to return items" that according to an FBI agent "Miller had contacted the FBI about returning the items, but couldn't elaborate on why Miller was looking to repatriate the artifacts now."

Carabinieri reports recovering paintings by Gauguin and Bonnard stolen from London in 1970

Rachel Donadio, reporting from Rome for The New York Times, wrote on April 2, 2014 in "Two Stolen Paintings Are Found in Italy" that according to a phone interview with Gen. Mariano Mossa, the chief of the cultural heritage division of Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri police (Carabinieri TPC), that the two paintings a Fiat factory worker purchased for $70 in 1975 at Turin auction turned out to be valuable works by Gauguin and Bonnard stolen in 1970 from the London residence of Mathilda Marks, 'a philanthropist and a daughter of Michael Marks, a founder of the Marks & Spencer department-store chain'.

In "Stolen Paul Gauguin Painting Recovered from House of Retired Fiat Employee," Douglas Cobb writing for Guardian/Living Voice recounts:
The Paul Gauguin painting was stolen from the family of one of the co-founders of Marks & Spencer, a department store chain. In 1970, in the vicinity of Regents Park, three men pretending to be burglar alarm company employees stole the painting and one by 19th century painter Pierre Bonnard worth an estimated $690,000. The Bonnard painting, “Woman with Two Chairs,” depicts a woman dressed in white who is seated in a chair in a luxurious green garden. [...] According to the police, it’s likely that the thieves abandoned the paintings on a train because they were worried that they would get caught trying to sneak the canvases across the border. In 1975, the railway company sold the paintings at an auction, without realizing their value.
 Michael Day, writing for The Independent in "Stolen Gauguin and Bonnard paintings worth over £30 m recovered after hanging in a factory worker's kitchen for 40 years", reports:
The Italian authorities first took notice of the paintings last summer when members of the Carabinieri TPC, a cultural heritage protection police force, saw photos of the works. “From the preliminary information, it appeared that the works shown were purchased in 1975 for the modest sum of 45,000 lire (€25),” said Brigadier General Mariano Mossa, commander of the Carabinieri TPC. “It's an incredible story, an amazing recovery. A symbol of all the work which Italian art police have put in over the years behind the scenes,” Italy's Culture Minister Dario Franceschini told journalists. Brigadier General Mossa said the investigation into how the paintings ended up in the kitchen of the factory worker were still ongoing. “We need to check the means by which he purchased them and whether this was done in good faith,” he said, “in addition to reconstructing the stages by which the works, arrived in Italy after they were stolen.”
The article in The Los Angeles Times by David Ng ("Gauguin painting stolen 44 years ago hung in autoworker's kitchen", April 2) includes a video clip from the press conference in Rome led by General Mossa of the Carabinieri's TPC -- the translator quotes General Mossa as saying that the findings are preliminary and the investigation is ongoing:
Officials in Italy held an unveiling ceremony Wednesday in Rome for the two paintings: Gauguin's "Fruits sur une Table ou Nature au Petit Chien," or "Fruit on a Table or Still Life With a Puppy," and Bonnard's "La Femme aux Deux Fauteuils," or "Woman on Two Armchairs."

April 2, 2014

Christie's and Bonhams withdraw two objects of antiquity linked to Medici and Becchina archives

Image appears to be draft of 1987 invoice
 on sale of antiquities
by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

Both Christie's and Bonhams withdrew two objects -- a 2,000 year old Greek glass wine jug (called an oinochoe) and another ancient vessel (known as a pyxis)-- from their antiquities auctions this week that forensic archaeologist Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis linked to the Medici and Becchina archives.

In an email to ARCA's blog, Dr. Tsirogiannis wrote: "I am also sending you the documents related to the pyxis, which prove that Becchina sold the object to Ariadne Galleries, something that Bonhams failed to mention in the "provenance" section of their catalogue regarding this object." 

The documents, represented by the images here to the right in a bluish tinge and below in a pinkish tinge, appear to be the draft and final copy of an invoice. The pink image is a photograph of an invoice dated November 12, 1987 from U. R. Becchina to Mr. Torkom Demirjian at Ariadne Galleries Inc. at 970 Madison Avenue in New York City “(For definitive sale/no return) no return) for 23 items — 14 terracotta statuettes + 1 Pyxis, 2 Gnathian vessels, 2 Canosan Pyxides, and 4 Corinthian vessels — at a price in U.S. dollars of $21,800 plus a restoration fee of $3,700 for a total of $25,500. The invoice included: "GUARANTEE These items are of the period of the 6th to the 3rd cent. B.C. The authenticity is unconditionally guaranteed."

This is the image of the pink invoice
from Becchina to Ariadne Galleries
regarding the sale of antiquities
Peter Watson, co-author with Cecilia Todeschini of The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums (Public Affairs, 2007), wrote in The Times ("Auction houses 'handling stolen goods'", April 2):
Christos Tsirogiannis, of the Division of Archaeology at Cambridge University, and formerly a member of the Greek Task Force that oversaw the return of smuggled objects, said that the auction houses should have realised that they were handling illegal objects. “They themselves do not release all the information they have about how these objects reach the market,” he said. “These objects have no real provenance.” 
The objects are believed to be part of hauls gathered during the 1980s and 1990s by Giacomo Medici and Gianfranco Becchina, two notorious Italian dealers. Both men have been convicted of trafficking in illicit antiquities. Medici’s archive was seized in 1995 in Geneva, and Becchina’s was seized in Basle in 2002. Between them, the men supplied thousands of illegally excavated and smuggled antiquities, many of which were dug up by mechanical digger, and sold at Sotheby’s throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Some of them were priceless and many still had soil on them. They passed in their thousands through London salesrooms until the traffic was exposed, partly by The Times in 1997. Sotheby’s was forced to discontinue its sales in London. 
[...] 
Mr Tsirogiannis, who has just been awarded his PhD for a thesis on the illicit international antiquities trade, has access to two Polaroid archives of the hauls that were seized by the Italian carabinieri in Switzerland. He noticed that the two objects coming up for sale at Bonhams and Christie’s were identical to two shown in the photographs of the seized archives, in one case dirty and broken before restoration. Invoices and sales receipts also appear to confirm that the objects are illicit. He said: “The object at Christie’s was sold at Sotheby’s in 1988, and that’s all — as anyone knows in this field, that almost certainly means it came from Medici. “The Bonhams object also first surfaced in 1987 and has no provenance outside the trade. There again, that should be a warning sign that the piece was illegally excavated and smuggled. Over the past few years, I have spotted dozens of objects like this being drip-fed on to the market, testing whether the Medici scandal has been forgotten. Each time, I have informed the Italian authorities, who tell me they always contact the auction houses, asking them to withdraw the pieces. They almost never do. I think they have only acted this time because The Times is watching. At this rate, London risks regaining its unenviable position as the home of the ‘dirty’ antiquities market.”
Watson reported that Christie's said that the company would contact Scotland Yard's Art & Antiquities Unit to investigate the piece and would return it to Italy if the object was the same as the one identified in the polaroid archive confiscated from Medici.

In an email to the ARCA blog, Dr. Tsirogiannis wrote:
A spokeswoman for Christie's said, regarding Christie's ownership of the oinochoe: 
The work you are referring to was sold through another auction house in 1988. It was then sold last year by Christie’s as part of the the Saeed Motamed collection. Christie’s became the owner after the sale of the work was then cancelled due to accidental damage sustained by the work during storage. 
My comment on this would be: Christie's should have been extra careful when they were exercising their 'due diligence' before the most recent sale, since they are the consigners in their own auction: as it turns out, this is a piece which comes originally from Medici. Christie's did not mention in the 'provenance' section of their catalogue which collection this object came from only last year, nor that the object was damaged during storage. All this exposes their practices even more.
Dr. Tsirogiannis wrote in an email to ARCA:
To echo Lord Renfrew in 2010, when four other antiquities I identified were withdrawn by Bonhams (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/apr/27/bonhams-stolen-roman-sculptures-auction), "London risks regaining its unenviable position as the home of the 'dirty' antiquities market".
Here's a link to the article in BBC News "'Looted' artifacts removed from auction" (2 April 2014).

Here's a link to Dr. Tsirogiannis' post "Auction houses should do more to rooted out looted antiquities" on the website for Apollo Magazine.

Nominees for ARCA's 2014 Award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art

Ballots have been released to the Board of Trustees to vote on the nominations for ARCA's 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art which usually goes to an individual or institution in recognition of many decades of excellence in the field. Past winners: Carabinieri TPC collectively (2009), Howard Spiegler (2010), John Merryman (2011), Dr. George H. O. Abungu (2012), Blanca Niño Norton (2013) The Nominees for 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art Award are:

Claudio Cimino, WATCH, World Association for the Protection of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage

Nominator’s Synopsis – "Claudio Cimino has designed and managed several projects in over 35 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe, developing a professional experience in architecture, urban and regional planning; cultural heritage restoration, conservation and management; industrial design and Arts and Crafts. In January 2006, he was elected Secretary General of WATCH (the World Association for the protection of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage in times of armed conflicts) and, as such, he maintains close relations with UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOMOS, ICOM, IIHL. His latest professional engagement focuses on the study of progressive Risk Preparedness, Mitigation and Response measures in case of natural events and human activities, including armed conflicts, embedded within comprehensive Site Management plans for World Heritage enclosed within urban areas."
MA and Post Graduate in Architecture at the University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome. Since 1984, a member at the Board of Architects of Rome, he is the President of Alchemia Project Associates an architects associate firm based in Rome. After over a decade spent doing research in Latin America with a grant from the Italian CNR and coordinating international cooperation projects for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he managed several international projects gaining a vast experience in: 1. Institutional capacity building and reform, mostly focusing on Culture and Cultural Heritage conservation and promotion; 2. Heritage Management Planning and Risk preparedness; 3. Bilateral and multilateral negotiation with national and local authorities; 4. Urban Rehabilitation of historic city centres; 5. Creating job opportunities for underprivileged social sectors, including Gender and Youth. He organised and implemented several thematic international focus groups, conferences, workshops and trainings. He consults and/or managed international programmes and initiatives for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Foreign Trade Commission, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, and Tourism, the World Bank and the European Commission. Free lecturer in several Italian and European Universities on cultural heritage and EU funded project design & management.
Anne Webber, founder and director of The Commission for Looted Art In Europe
Nominator’s Synopsis – "Anne Webber, founder and director of The Commission for Looted Art In Europe, is a documentary film producer by profession, who having made a documentary on holocaust looted art has dedicated herself to founding and running the commission as a charity. She works internationally in the interest of the families who lost art during World War II and has become an internationally recognised expert on the subject and has achieved many recoveries and settlements in the process."
Anne Webber, together with David Lewis, is founder and Co-Chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe (CLAE) and co-founder and Director of the Central Registry of Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945 at www.lootedart.com, set up in 2001 as an independent charitable body under the auspices of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. The Registry is an international research centre and online repository of detailed research, news and information from 49 countries and an onine database of 25,000 objects. Anne Webber was a member of the drafting team of Council of Europe Resolution 1205 (1999) on the restitution of looted cultural property in Europe, on the organising committee of the Vilnius International Forum 2000 and the Prague Conference 2009 and is a member of the Advisory Council of the European Shoah Legacy Institute. She was a member of the British Spoliation Advisory Committee which supervised the provenance research work of British museums throughout its term of 1999-2008. She was a member of the Hunt Museum Review Group and is on the Executive Board of the International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property. She founded and chaired the UK's International Tracing Service (ITS) Stakeholder Committee which negotiated the UK's taking a digital copy of the ITS records to be housed at The Wiener Library, London. She is a member of the UK Government Delegation to the International Commission which governs the ITS, and is a member of The Wiener Library's ITS Oversight Committee. She is a Governor of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, President of the Jewish Book Council and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Rev. Dr. Marius Zerafa, O.P. (S.T.L., Lect. Th., A.R. Hist. S., Dr. Sc.Soc) B.A. Hons. (Lond), A.R.Hist.Soc. (Lond)

Nominator’s Synopsis – "Father Marius Zerafa is an extraordinary Maltese Dominican scholar, an art historian, a fine classical artist and an art restorer. The founder of the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta, he is also the former Curator and Director of the Malta Museums.

While Director of Museums, Dr. Zerafa successfully negotiated the retrieval of Caravaggio's only signed piece, St. Jerome, which had been stolen from St. John's Co-Cathedral on New Year’s Eve in 1984. His roll in the painting’s recovery probably represents the longest civilian communication with art thieves outside those directly working in an official law enforcement capacity. On December 31, 1984 thieves cut down the autographed Caravaggio’s painting and quickly disappeared leaving little in the way of traceable leads. While many stolen paintings disappear forever, it is directly through the patient work and continued work of Fr. Marius that the painting was eventually recovered almost three years after the initial theft. For two years after the heist, Maltese authorities had no viable leads as to the whereabouts of the Caravaggio or the identity of the thieves. All efforts to trace the work had lead to dead ends and the investigation had stalled despite the involvement of Interpol and the Maltese police. Then one day Father Marius was approached at the door of the priory by a young man who handed him an envelope and a tape with a note which read, “Father, do not open this envelope until you have listened to the tape and when you do listen to the tape, see that you are alone."  The tape contained the message, “We have the painting, we want money. Don’t contact the police or else.” Inside the envelope was a Polaroid photograph of the Carravaggio of St Jerome, held open from its rolled state by a haphazardly placed espresso pot placed directly on top of the painting to the left of St. Jerome’s shoulder. This would be the first of many contacts over an eight month period with the thieves which included many telephone calls from “Merisi", the pseudonym used by the man making the ransom demands. During that period, Fr. Zefara was required to stall the culprits during multiple attempts to wire tap the priest’s phone to intercept the calls and perhaps determine the whereabouts of the thieves. To stall, he repeatedly fabricated reasons for the thieves to call back, hearing confession, meetings with Malta’s Prime Minister to come up with the ransom amount requested, sick members of the parish. As the thieves’ patience grew thin, they made veiled threats to his person and sent him slices of the Caravaggio’s canvas as if to prove their point not just regarding the painting but about the his wellbeing. His self-published memoir "The Caravaggio Diaries" is a personal account based on the diary he kept during this lengthy ordeal and after the eventual capture of the painting’s thieves."
Fr. started education at the Government Primary School till Class III, when, at the age of 9, he entered the Malta Lyceum. With the encouragement of Dun Gorg Preca he joined the Dominican Order in 1945. He spent three years at the Dominican House of Studies in Rabat and was then sent to “Hawkesyard”, Staffordshire, and later to “Blackfriars”, Oxford (1948-1952). Went to Rome (1952-54) where he obtained his S.Th.B. and Dip.Sc.Soc. He returned to Rome for another two years and obtained his Lectorate and Licentiate in Sacred Theology and a Doctorate in Social Sciences. He also attended the State University in Rome and obtained a Diploma in Art History. Later he also obtained a B.A. Hons. Degree in Art History from the University of London. He also followed courses at the Sorbonne and at the Ecole de Louvre, Paris, (1963 and 1966); at the University of Florence (1965 and 1968); at the Brera, Milan, and at the Fondazione Cini, Venice, (1965). Working on a thesis for the Degree of D.Litt. at Florence University. 
In 1962 he was elected Associate of the Royal Historical Society, London. He is a member of the Accademia Tiberina and was awarded the French Decoration “Chevalier dans l`Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”, the Russian “Order of Lomonosov” and “Insignia of Merit”, and the Florence “Beato Angelico” Medal. He is also Knight of Grace, O.S.J. Fr Zerafa was awarded Art Scholarships by the Italian Government on the occasion of Malta`s Independence and again in 1968. He visited museums in the United States on an International Visitors Program; worked at the Louvre, Paris, on a Council of Europe Fellowship; had a British Council Grant in 1967 and a German Government Bursary sponsored by Inter Nationes. He was also invited to the Soviet Union as Co-Founder of the Maltese-Soviet Friendship Society. Fr Zerafa was Secretary and Senior History and Literature Master at St Albert`s College, Valletta, (1954-62); Professor of Social Philosophy and Sacred Art at the Dominican House of Studies, Rabat; Lecturer in Fr. Marius Zerafa O.P. Sociology in the Pastoral Course for the Clergy; Examiner in Sociology at the University of Malta; Lecturer in History and Appreciation of Art at the Malta School of Art; Lecturer in Sacred Art at the Major Seminary; at I.N.S.E.R.M.; Lecturer in Art Appreciation at St Edward`s College; taught English Literature and Art History at St Teresa monastery, Cospicua. He also lectured regularly, mainly on Art, at the British Council Centre, the Italian Istituto di Cultura, the Alliance Francaise and other cultural centres. For many years he was sub-editor of “Scientia” and Archivist of the Maltese Dominican Province. 
While studying in Florence, he was encouraged by Prof G LaPira, ex mayor of the City, to set up an Art Centre at S Marco, but had to return to Malta for family reasons. Fr Zerafa joined the Museums Department in 1970 as Assistant Curator of Fine Arts and was responsible for the setting up of the National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta and the Museum of Contemporary Art at St Julian`s. He became Curator of Fine Arts in 1975 and Director of Museums in 1981. He was responsible for the opening of a number of museums in Malta and Gozo. During this period he was involved in the recovery of the painting “St Jerome” by Caravaggio. His tactful contact with the thieves, over a period of eight months resulted in the successful recovering of this masterpiece. Fr Zerafa has been invited to lecture at the Smithsonian, Washington; at Fordham University, New York; at the American University, Rome; at the Dominican Curia Generalizia, Rome; at Aspen Museum, Colorado; at the Moscow State University; at the Academy for Contemporary Art, Moscow; at the Academy for Design, Togliattigrad; at the Preti Museum, Taverna; at Budapest Museum, as well as other educational institutions. He has taken part in International conferences in Quebec, Tunis and other cities and has helped organize numerous art exhibitions in London, Paris, Moscow and Palermo. He was Chairman of Government committees and of other committees of various organizations. Until his resignation was Chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission for Sacred Art. 
He is a member of the Dominican Commission for Preaching through Art. Fr Zerafa retired from the Museums Department at the age of 61. He is now lecturer in Sacred Art at the Angelicum University, Rome. He is also “Aquinas Visiting Scholar” at Toronto University, Canada. He lectures at Cultural centres in Malta, and often leads groups of students on cultural tours abroad. He has restored works by Mattia Preti, Favray, and other Masters. His own paintings and sculptures are to be found in churches and collections in Malta and abroad. An exhibition of his works and projects was held at Gallery G in December 2007. Publications: “Developments in the doctrine of private property” (Rome, 1945) “The Genesis of Marx`s realist interpretation of History” (Rome, 1962) “Caravaggio Diaries” (Malta, 2004) Being translated into Italian and Russian. “Memories” (In preparation) Contributions to the Encyclopaedia of Contemporary Art, Florence: to Thieme Becker, Berlin: and other publications.