February 22, 2015

Dick Ellis returns to Amelia this summer to teach "Art Policing, Protection and Investigating" at ARCA's Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection

Richard Ellis
Richard Ellis, founder of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiquities Squad, will be returning to Amelia to teach “Art Policing, Protection and Investigation” at ARCA’s Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.

Mr. Ellis ran the Art & Antiquities Squad for New Scotland Yard from 1989 until his retirement from the police in 1999. After working for Christie’s Fine Art Security Services and Trace recovery services, in 2005 he joined with security and conservation specialists to form the Art Management Group. He is also director of Art Resolve and Art Retrieval International Ltd.

As a specialist art crime investigator both in the police and in the private sector, Mr. Ellis has been involved in many notable recoveries such as ‘The Scream’ stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in 1994; Audobon’s ‘Birds of America’ stolen from the State Library in St. Petersburg; antiquities looted from China and Egypt; and the recovery of numerous items of art and antiquities stolen from private residences throughout the United Kingdom and abroad including in 2005 the silver stolen Stanton Harcourt and in 2006 paintings by Bonnard, Vuillard and Duffy stolen in London.

What might students learn on a given day?

Students would learn from case studies how stolen art is recovered today both by law enforcement and in the private sector. They would learn how organised crime utilizes stolen art to fund other areas of crime through a study of the Beit collection robberies in Ireland, and would how covert sting operations can recover such stolen masterpieces as Munch's "The Scream". They would also learn how private sector interventions recovered paintings by Picasso and Delacroix from international criminal organisations and how to detect fakes and forgeries.

Books to read?

The Irish Game by Mathew Hart, which gives a clear insight in to why iconic works of art are stolen by organised crime groups and how criminals convert the art in to a tangible benefit.

Here's a link to Mr. Ellis' profile and interview in 2011 and a link to more information about the Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.