Here are the four nominees for ARCA's 2013 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), and George H. O. Abungu (2012).
Ton Cremers, Museum Security and Safety Consultant, founded the MSN. Mr. Cremers is active in security and safety in museums, archives, libraries, churches with valuable collections, monuments, and old Dutch windmills for the past 30 years. He is the former director of security and safety of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the founding director of the Museum Security Network. The MSN mailing list, presently a Google Group, was the first WWW list-serv dedicated to the subject of museum security and has been active for over 15 years. In those years over 45,000 messages have been send to some 1,000 subscribers (average) in more than 50 countries. Ton Cremers was one of the founding members of the Leiden network on trade in illegal antiquities, dedicated to the struggle against the illicit trade in art and antiquities. Other founding members: Neil Brody, Colin Renfrew a.o.'s. Ton Cremers has been active in over 450 museums etc., in several European, and African countries, such as Zimbabwe where he audited the security and safety of all national museums, national archives, and national galleries.
Cremers has published numerous articles in international magazines, and was the codeveloper of a self-audit software tool with which museums are able to investigate their security and safety. Thus far Cremers is the first non-American to have received the prestigious Burke Award for the protection of cultural property. His publication about emergency management in museums is a standard in the Dutch language world. At the moment Cremers is working on a new initiative to build a museum in Athens, Greece and is active in 17 museums on six islands in the Dutch Caribbean, teaching and training museum workers.
Dr. David Gill is Professor of Archaeological Heritage and Head of the Division of Humanities at University Campus Suffolk, England. He is a former Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, and Sir James Knott Fellow at Newcastle University. He was a curator in the Department of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, before moving to Swansea University where he was Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology.
He has published widely on archaeological ethics, often with Dr Christopher Chippindale (University of Cambridge). Their research has promoted the material and intellectual consequences of looting. Gill has provided a commentary on the impact of such activity through his research blog, “Looting Matters”. This research has formed part of the effort to restore antiquities to Italy and Greece in the wake of the “Medici Conspiracy”.
Maurizio Seracini is a pioneer in the use of multispectral imaging and other diagnostic as well as analytical technologies as applied to works of art and structures. He joined UC San Diego in 2006, more than thirty years after graduating from UCSD with a B.S. in bioengineering in 1973 and a Laurea in “Ingegneria Elettronica” from the University of Padua in 1976.
He has studied more than 2,500 works of art and historic buildings, ranging from Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper” and Botticelli's "Allegory of Spring", to Caravaggio’s “Medusa”. Founder and Scientific Director of EDITECH (Electronics, Diagnostics and Technology) in 1977, the first center for authenticating works of art in Italy.
Blanca Niño Norton is an architect and an artist, starting her career with an interest in Vernacular Architecture and completing her architectural thesis on this subject while working on collection inventory projects as a student in Guatemala and other countries of the region. In addition to her architectural degree, Blanca Niño Norton holds a masters degree in diplomacy and completed her thesis on “The action of consular and diplomatic affairs in relation to illicit traffic” which received recognition as the best thesis on diplomatic studies. In her later years she created the office of World Heritage in the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture and directed it for 4 years, during which she worked on the presentation of the tentative list of World Heritage sites of Guatemala and worked on the theme of Intangible Heritage. As such she was elected and continues to serve as council member of ICCROM for the next 3 years. (3 times elected in General Assembly) and has participated in the meetings regarding international law in UNESCO Paris on the anniversary of the convention on World Heritage.
Blanca Niño Nortonhas participated in workshops in Italy with the Carabinieri, and lectured in Argentina, Roma, Paraguay, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Colombia. With the Carabinieri TPC especially with Dr Pastore, Blanca Niño Norton was able to do important training in Guatemala. Through this collaboration with the Carabineri TPC they conducted 4 courses for more than 80 people, each with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and Ministero per i Bieni Culturale.