Showing posts with label ARCA Annual Conference. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARCA Annual Conference. Show all posts

May 13, 2014

ARCA's Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Amelia, Italy - June 27-29, 2014

Amelia, Italy
The Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) will be hosting its sixth annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference the weekend of June 27-29, 2014. 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.

Held in the beautiful town of Amelia (Umbria), the seat of ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. The conference will include multidisciplinary panel sessions, key note speakers, an ice-breaker cocktail reception and an awards dinner on Saturday evening honoring this year’s recipients of ARCA’s annual award for outstanding scholarship and professional dedication to the protection and recovery of cultural heritage.

Porta de la valle, Amelia
Providing an arena for intellectual and professional exchange, this annual art crime conference highlights the nonprofit’s mission and serves as a forum that aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of the protection of art and heritage worldwide. Bringing together international scholars, law enforcement experts, art professionals, the general public and participants in ARCA’s postgraduate certificate program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, attendees have the opportunity to examine contemporary issues of common concern in this important field.

To reserve a placement for one or both day’s sessions, please write to the association conference coordinators at: italy.conference (at) Provide your full name and names of those attending with you, your email address, and your preference for either or both day’s sessions.

The 2014 ARCA Award Winners are:

Art Policing, Recovery, Protection and Security
Dr. Daniela Rizzo and Mr Maurizio Pellegrini, Soprintendenza Beni Archeologici Etruria Meridionale – Villa Giulia
Past winners: Vernon Rapley (2009), Francesco Rutelli (2009), Charlie Hill (2010), Dick Drent (2010), Paolo Giorgio Ferri (2011), Lord Colin Renfrew (2011), Stuttgart Detective Ernst Schöller (2012), Karl von Habsburg and Dr. Joris Kila (Jointly – 2012), Sharon Cohen Levin (2013), Christos Tsirogiannis (2013)

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

Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art Award
Anne Webber, founder and director of The Commission for Looted Art In Europe
Past winners: Carabinieri TPC collectively (2009), Howard Spiegler (2010), John Merryman (2011), Dr. George H. O. Abungu (2012), Blanca Niño Norton (2013)

The list of presenters and topics scheduled for the 2014 Art Crime Conference:

Panel I:  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
Saskia Hufnagel, PhD
Lecturer in Criminal Law, Queen Mary University of London
Rechtsanwalt – Fachanwalt Strafrecht, Hufnagel und Partner

The Gurlitt Case: An Inside View From Christopher A. Marinello, Lawyer and Representative for the Heirs of Paul Rosenberg
Christopher A. Marinello, Esq
Director and Founder, Art Recovery International

Panel II: The Many Faces of the Illegal Heritage Trade - Panel led by Christos Tsirogiannis PhD.

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

Panel III: The Vulnerabilities of Sacred Art In Situ: Yesterday and Still Today

The Theft and Ransom of Caravaggio’s “St. Jerome Writing”, 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;
Author, Pompeii Awakened, The Monster in the Closet

Evacuate the objects from vulnerable religious sites? No, protect them in situ!
Stéphane Théfo
Police Officer/Project Manager, INTERPOL Office of Legal Affairs

Panel IV: The Genuine Article: Fakes and Forgeries and the Art of Deception

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

Forgery and Offenses Resembling Forgery
Susan Douglas, PhD Concordia University
Lecturer (Assistant Professor) Contemporary Art and Theory, University of Guelph

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

Panel V: Looting, Litigation and Repatriation

Will it be the Getty Bronze or L'atleta di Fano? Italy's ongoing case for the return of the bronze statue of the Victorious Youth
Maurizio Fiorilli. Avvocato della Stato, Italy (Ret) and Stefano Alessandrini, Consultant

The Duryodhana, the Balarama and the Bhima: a Cambodian perspective on the return of three pre-Angkorian sandstone statues from Prasat Chen at the Koh Ker temple complex
His Highness Sisowath Ravivaddhana Monipong of Cambodia

Panel VI: The Mental Condition and its Role in Art Crime

'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

Art Vandalism from a Forensic Behavioral Perspective
Frans Koenraadt PhD
Professor, Universiteit Utrecht, Willem Pompe Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology

Panel VII: 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 Zagreb
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

Panel VIII: Smart Collecting and Connoisseurship and When Art is Stolen

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

Crossborder Collecting in the XXI Century: Comparative Law Issues
Massimo Sterpi, Avvocato
Partner, Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati 

Bicycles vs. Rembrandt
Martin Finkelnberg
Head of the Art and Antiques Crime Unit
National Criminal Intelligence Division, The Netherlands

Key Note Closing – A Look to the Future

Is International Law for the Protection of Artistic Freedom Adequate?
Eleni Tokmakidou – Moschouri, PhD University of Manchester
MJur University of Birmingham
Attorney at Law at the Supreme Court of Greece

This event opens with a icebreaker cocktail on Friday, June 27th at the Palazzo Farrattini. The conference will be held Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 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 promptly at 9:00 am, with a break for coffee and optional Saturday lunch as well as an optional Italian slow food dinner Saturday evening.

July 14, 2012

ARCA’s Best Kept Secret: Views from the Early Career Panel

Meg Lambert in Amelia (Photo by Alesia Koush)
by Meg Lambert

A couple weeks ago I returned home from Amelia, Italy, where I presented in the early career panel at the fourth annual ARCA conference. All the typical things you might expect about attending a conference in late June in a beautiful Umbrian hillside town are true: the scenery was fantastic, the food was glorious, and the unparalleled espresso gave me heart palpitations. But in the weeks since I’ve come home, I have gained yet more appreciation for what I believe might be ARCA’s best kept (or least publicized) secret: ARCA has a particularly excited place in its heart for young students just finding their way into the field of art crime, and they support student work in a way few other organizations do. 

We already know that ARCA is making tremendous strides for education in art crime through the Postgraduate Certificate that is offered every year. However, it is in the small actions and words of ARCA directors and members that this support and excitement is most evident. I was lucky enough to experience this firsthand last weekend, when I traveled from Massachusetts to Italy (just for the weekend, never again) to give my first major presentation on my work to a room full of distinguished scholars and professionals in this field. One fourth of my way through the Friday night cocktails that kicked off the conference, I was fairly star struck from meeting so many influential and passionate people and having such earnest conversations with them. Never once did I feel like “just a student”. At any other conference, where academic hierarchy and competition determines your relationships with elder and younger colleagues alike, I might have had a much harder time finding my place as a newcomer. But at ARCA, there was only a great deal of excitement and anticipation for what my co-panelist, Aaron Haines, and I would bring to the bigger conversation of the conference as a whole. At every step of the way, we, and our significant number of under-30s peers, were treated as equals in the collective struggle to understand and address art crime.

This was true even during the many humbling times I realized just how new I still am in this field after three years of study. (Jason Felch, writer of Chasing Aphrodite, mentioned a few times how he considers himself a rookie after having been immersed in it for seven years.) For example, I shared the taxi from the train station to Amelia with George Abungu, a veritable giant in this field and this year’s recipient of the ARCA Lifetime Achievement Award. But since Dr. Abungu’s description of his work on our cab ride consisted solely of, “I’m an archaeologist, but these days I am doing mostly cultural heritage management”, I had no idea that he was so influential until his work was described during the awards. When I mentioned this to someone from ARCA, they responded in a kind of excited, “I know, right?!” demeanor. No unpleasant surprise or haughty sniffing that I didn’t already know Dr. Abungu’s work. Just a shared excitement that George could be with us in Amelia and speak so passionately and generously about his current work protecting Africa’s ancient rock art. (And boogie so hard at La Laconda to all the best of Italian techno-pop/Abba.)

I most warmly felt the support of ARCA as a whole during and after my presentation on Sunday morning. At any other conference, I might have been challenged or confronted on aspects of my research during the question and answer session. But at the ARCA conference, Aaron and I both had only the most benevolent support and a number of very friendly queries about our presentations. I had only one archaeologist challenge me on the difference between looting, commercial salvaging, and treasure hunting, and that was very productively resolved through good-natured explanation and discussion. Afterward, I was approached and congratulated by many of the most interesting, generous, and influential individuals in this field, all of whom were simply excited to see fresh faces studying these issues and to speak as equals about their own work. The whole experience was an exercise in keeping my cool as these people whose books I had read (or whom I had read about in books) congratulated me on my work and gave me their card to keep in touch. Or encouraged me to do my PhD in Australia. Or asked me to send along my thesis for a read. Heady stuff for the new kid.

After the conference had officially ended and a handful of us were enjoying drinks during the Italy vs. England game, it was somehow unanimously decided that just a weekend in Italy is not enough (it really isn’t) and that I should stay to audit the criminology session of the Postgraduate Certificate course, especially considering I will be pursuing a Master of Research in Criminology this fall. It had been only two days of sitting in the same sweaty room listening to the same amazing speakers, and already we had sized each other up as pretty cool and were ready to keep learning together. Although it ended up being too expensive to change plane tickets, it was astounding to have such an opportunity arise at the last minute and to have new friends eagerly inviting me to crash on the empty bed they had wherever they were living.

In the summer between my undergraduate graduation and the beginning of my graduate work, I could not have asked for a warmer, more exciting welcome into the academic community of art crime. Students, take note: ARCA is looking for your passion and excitement about these issues so they can help introduce you to all the right people to make your dream career a reality. You couldn’t ask for a greater group of people with whom to begin and sustain your lifelong work.

Meg Lambert writes about the illicit antiquities trade and other cultural heritage issues at and will be pursuing her MRes in Criminology at the University of Glasgow this fall.

June 7, 2012

Paolo Ferri and Jason Felch on Wikiloot

ARCA's Annual Conference in Amelia
Tom Kington reports for the Guardian on the efforts of Jason Felch to use crowdsourcing to help police the antiquities trade with wikiloot:
Felch now plans to obtain and post piles of material seized from dealers during police raids and deposited for trials which have yet to be published, and let allcomers mine the data for new clues. "It's all raw, unprocessed data. Researchers can use it, but we also hope the public can use it to find out a bit more about what is on display at their local museum," he said. . . .
 "We will also need a few hundred thousand dollars," added Felch, who is applying for grants, talking to universities and promoting the concept this month at the annual conference in Italy of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA). . . . 
With an estimated 500,000 artefacts looted from Italy to date, one Italian investigator – Paolo Ferri, a magistrate now working at Italy's culture ministry – said any attempt to track them down was welcome. He was cautious about aspects of the crowdsourcing concept, claiming that publishing images or descriptions of looted artefacts could push their collectors to hide them better. "They may also work harder to camouflage the origins of their pieces or even access the archive to manipulate it," Ferri said. "Why not have a password to keep traffickers out?"

Both Felch and Ferri are slated to appear at ARCA's annual conference here in Amelia in a few weeks on June 23-24. The report makes it appear as if Felch has been invited to discuss wikiloot. He is welcome of course to discuss the initiative, but the primary purpose of his invitation is to honor his writing and reporting. He and Ralph Frammolino will be honored for the terrific reporting they have done, which culminated in Chasing Aphrodite, and the blog which has continued that good work.

Conference attendees will have an opportunity to hear more about Felch's plans for wikiloot, and though Ferri and others share misgivings, the conference will allow an opportunity to listen and take into account those concerns. One of the aims for ARCA's annual conference is to bring folks together and foster a productive exchange.
  1. Tom Kington, WikiLoot aims to use crowdsourcing to track down stolen ancient artefacts, the Guardian, June 6, 2012,
ARCA's annual conference is free to attend, and open to the general public. For any questions about the conference please contact us at:

April 7, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Fall 2011 Features Synopsis of ARCA's 2011 International Art Crime Conference

The Fall 2011 issue of The Journal of Art Crime includes a Synopsis of ARCA's Third International Art Crime Conference in Amelia, Umbria, on July 9 and 10, compiled and edited by ARCA blog Editor-in-Chief Catherine Sezgin.

The synopsis features an introduction by ARCA Intern Kirsten Hower and features summaries of the panel speakers by Mark Durney, Founder of Art Theft Central, and ARCA Interns Molly Cotter, Hower, and Jessica Graham Nielsen.

Catherine Schofield Sezgin graduated “With Distinction” from the ARCA Master’s Certificate Program in International Art Crime Studies in Amelia, Italy, in 2010. She has an undergraduate degree in Finance from San Diego State University where she was a reporter and a news editor for the daily newspaper. She is currently the editor-in-chief of ARCA’s blog and writing an art crime mystery set in Amelia.

November 14, 2011

ARCA Award Winner Paolo Ferri Featured in Smithsonian Magazine

Last summer ARCA awarded Paolo Ferri, a former Italian State prosecutor, for his work in Art Policing and Recovery, the first award the former Italian State prosecutor had received for his work, Ferri told the audience at the International Art Crime Conference. This month, Dr. Ferri's work is highlighted in an article by Ralph Frammolino in the Smithsonian Magazine, "The Goddess Goes Home." Frammolino is co-author with Jason Felch of "Chasing Aphrodite."

Frammolino discusses the extent of the Getty's purchases in building an antiquities section and Dr. Ferri's role in indicting Marion True.

July 5, 2011

Laurie Rush, Duncan Chappell, and Phyllis Callina will be on the panel "Perspectives on Forgery and the Local Impact of Heritage Crime" at ARCA's Third Annual International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9

The second panel at ARCA's Third Annual International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9th and 10th will be titled "Perspectives on Forgery and the Local Impact of Heritage Crime."

Laurie Rush, the Booth Family Rome Prize Winner in Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome, will present “Art Crime: Effects of a Global Issue at the Community Level”:
"The market for works of art and objects that are acquired using illegal methods has much more than a passive effect on conflict and social disorder in situations of stress around the world. Examples of the influence of the market on behavior at the local level will be used to illustrate how looting and theft actively contribute to instability and in some cases disintegration of the community fabric at the local level. Likewise, there are also examples where measures to prevent art crime offer valuable support and potential partnership for the hard work required when the goals are conflict resolution, social order, and stability."
Dr. Rush has been the installation archaeologist and running the cultural resources program at Fort Drum, NY in support of the US Army Tenth Mountain Division since 1998. Her degrees include a BA from Indiana University Bloomington and an MA and PhD from Northwestern. Her programs and work have won numerous defense and collegial awards. Dr. Rush is the editor of the new book, Archaeology, Cultural Property, and the Military.

Duncan Chappell, the Chair of the CEPS (Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security) International Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor in the Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney will discuss “Forgery of Australian Aboriginal Art”:
"This paper explores the problem of frauds and fakes in the contemporary Australian Aboriginal art market. For Aboriginal people art plays in particular an important spiritual role in portraying the beliefs and traditions of the ‘dreamtime’- events of the ancient era of creation from which have sprung continuing ceremonies and motifs now perpetuated in modern paintings and other art forms. Art has also become a major source of income for many Aboriginal communities and individuals. Thus when the integrity of that art is challenged by allegations of fraud and fakery it is vital to explore the veracity of these claims and the responses made to them. In the paper particular attention is devoted to those responses made through both the criminal and civil systems of justice in Australia. The conclusion is reached that at present the Australian legal system, and its principal actors such as police and prosecutors, are poorly equipped to deal with problematic works in the Indigenous art market- a situation that is probably not unique to Australia and which will take considerable time and far more imaginative and assertive solutions to remedy."
Since receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1965, Dr. Chappell has held many academic and professional positions including Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and President of the New South Wales Mental Health Review Tribunal (2001-2006). Chappell has published extensively on topics in the criminal world including Violence at Work (3rd edition; Geneva: International Labor Office, 2006) which he co-wrote with Vittorio Di Martino.

Phyllis Callina is a PhD candidate in Ancient History at Swansea University focusing on the protection of cultural property, collecting histories, and the impact of forgeries on the archaeological record. She will present “Historic Forgeries”:
"While laws and regulations such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention may have some influence in protecting against illicit antiquities trading, they do nothing to protect the archaeological record from what I term “historic forgeries.” Historic forgeries were created before the 20th century and, because they have existed for up to a few hundred years in museums and private collections, have established collecting histories that the average scholar or collector would not question. This study provides a cursory look at the volume of historic forgeries that lie unknown in the corpus of antiquities and the danger they pose to the archaeological record. This study also proposes that the quiet and successful existence of these historic forgeries is due largely to the social context within which they were created and in which their collecting histories were developed. The examination of several verified cases of historic forgeries is utilized to analyze the contemporaneous contexts of the forgeries and the structures of their collecting histories, and to present possible solutions for ferreting out additional cases."
Ms. Callina works as an environmental archaeologist for Jacobs Engineering, Inc. and as a Collections Manager at the Alaska Museum of Natural History in Anchorage, Alaska. She also serves as an Antiquities Consultant for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

July 3, 2011

Arthur Tompkins, Ludo Block & Saskia Hufnagel Will Participate in a Panel "Harmonizing Police Cooperation and Returns" at ARCA's Third International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9, 2011

ARCA's third annual International Art Crime Conference will begin next Saturday, July 9th, with the panel "Harmonizing Police Cooperation and Returns" with Judge Arthur Tompkins, Ludo Block and Saskia Hugnagel.

Judge Arthur Tompkins, a District Court Judge in New Zealand, will present “Paying a Ransom: The Theft of 96 Rare Medals and the Reward Payments”:
In December 2007, 96 medals were stolen from New Zealand’s National Army Museum. Included were a number of Victoria Crosses, including one of only three Victoria Cross and bar combinations. Conservatively valued at over $5 million, the theft caused national and international outrage. A privately funded, substantial reward was offered for information leading to the medals’ return. In February 2008, after negotiations conducted with the perpetrators through a lawyer, the medals were recovered and substantial reward payments were made. Subsequently, two men were convicted of the thefts, imprisoned, and the reward payments were recovered. Using this crime as a case study, and referring also to other art and heritage crime reward cases, this presentation will traverse the arguments for and against the payment of ransom or reward in art and heritage crime cases, and legal issues relating to the payment of rewards in different jurisdictions will be considered. Psychological research and the experience gained with, and research conducted in relation to, ransom-seeking pirates off the coast of Somalia, will also be examined.
Arthur Tompkins has extensive experience in criminal trials and civil matters. Since graduating with a Masters of Law with First Class Honours from Cambridge University in England, Tompkins has pursued advances and uses of DNA in criminal cases and, in 2007, was elected an Honorary Member of Interpol’s DNA Monitoring Expert Group. In 2009, he presented “A Proposal for a Permanent International Art Crime Tribunal” at ARCA’s Inaugural Art Crime Conference. He is currently an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Waikato’s School of Law and a Visiting Faculty member for ARCA’s Postgraduate program in International Art Crime, teaching the “Art Crime in War” component.

Ludo Block, a former Dutch police officer and police liaison to the Dutch National Police in Moscow, will discuss his article, “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime”:

The academic literature in the field of cross-border policing tends to concentrate exclusively on the high-level crimes—drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking—that are so often the focus of transnational police cooperation in criminal investigations. There are, however, many other types of transnational crime, including the often neglected art crime, which may represent the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, outranked only by drug and arms trafficking. Drawing on existing literature and interviews with practitioners, this study provides a comparative overview of the policing efforts on art crime in a number of European Union (EU) member states and examines the relevant policy initiatives of the Council of the EU, Europol, and the European Police College. It also addresses existing practices of and obstacles to police cooperation in the field of art crime in the EU. The study reveals that EU police cooperation in this field occurs among a relatively small group of specialists and that—particularly given the general lack of political and public attention—the personal dedication of these specialists is an indispensable driver in this cooperation.
Ludo Block focuses his research mostly on European police cooperation which is the subject of his PhD dissertation. His other interests are in intelligence, analysis, and law enforcement in the Russian Federation. He has lectured and written around the world concerning these issues, including his article “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime: A Comparative Overview” which will appear in the forthcoming edition of the Journal of Art Crime (Vol. 4).

Saskia Hufnage, a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) at Griffith University, Queensland, will present “Harmonising Police Cooperation in the Field of Art Crime in Australia and the European Union”:
Despite the fact that Australia and the European Union (EU) have different structures of governance, different histories, and different dimensions, both entities face surprisingly similar problems in relation to cross-border police cooperation. Australia is divided in nine different criminal jurisdictions, each policed by its own police force. As each police force is only competent on its own territory, with the exception of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), problems of border crossing, information exchange and joint investigations arise similar to those in the EU. This paper presents an overview of policing strategies in the field of art crime in Australia and compares existing problems in the EU to Australia. The necessity of legal harmonisation is overshadowed in this particular area by the importance of strong police-to-police cooperation, crucial for intelligence sharing – as it happens in the EU – and the lack of strong cooperation in the Australasian region. Possible avenues of advancing existing cooperation strategies in this particular field will be discussed.
Saskia Hufnagel was an Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra and a PhD student at the Australian National University in the fields of comparative law, criminal law, cross-border policing and sociolegal studies. She is a German lawyer and accredited specialist in criminal law. Recent publications include ‘“The fear of insignificance”: New perspectives on harmonizing police cooperation in Europe and Australia' (2010) 6(2) Journal of Contemporary European Research 165 and ‘German perspectives on the right to life and human dignity in the “War on Terror”’ (2008) Criminal Law Journal 101.

July 26, 2010

Profile of Howard Spiegler

Nancy Greenleese has a very fine profile of Howard Spiegler for Voice of America.  Mr. Spiegler has been an important advocate in a number of important art and antiquities restitution cases.  Because of this great work he received the 2010 ARCA Award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art.

The audio profile includes highlights of Mr. Spiegler's remarks at the ARCA conference, as well as the comments of Chris Marinello of the Art Loss Register, and historian Marc Masurovsky.

You can listen to the profile here.
  1. Nancy Greenleese, Fighting for Art Justice, Voice of America, (last visited Jul 26, 2010).
Howard Spiegler at the 2010 ARCA Conference
(Urska Charney)

July 19, 2010

"The Bulldog" Makes a Case for the Return of the "Getty Bronze"

The "Getty Bronze"
Last weekend at the 2010 ARCA conference, Italian state attorney Maurizio Fiorilli offered his thoughts on the ongoing dispute between Italy and the Getty over the disposition of this  ancient Greek bronze, often called the "Bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth".  Fiorilli has been nicknamed "Il Bulldog" by the Italian press for his quiet persistence in securing the return of illegally exported and illegally excavated cultural objects from a number of American museums, including a number of objects acquired in recent decades from the Getty.

One object which the Italians did not secure was this bronze, which is the subject of a seizure proceeding in Italy.  I've posted below four videos which find Fiorilli making a reasoned legal case for the return of the bronze.  An Italian court in February ordered the return of this object, however difficulty will arise when Italy attempts to convince a U.S. court to enforce the order.  The Getty has appealed the Italian decision, but the legal proceedings are important not only for the direct result, but for the shift in public perception which the Getty will have to navigate.  Surely the Getty does not relish the idea of a long protracted public debate over the disposition of this bronze.  The story of this bronze presents an interesting case.  Though it was certainly illegally exported from Italy, it cannot be considered a "looted" object in my view. 

The bronze was found by Italian fishermen somewhere in the Adriatic in the 1960's.  I wrote a long summary of the story of the bronze back in 2007.  To summarize, the statue was found by fisherman in the Adriatic in 1964, smuggled out of Italy, and eventually purchased by the Getty in 1977.  The bronze was discussed a great deal in the very public battle between Italy and the Getty over other looted objects in recent years.  Yet there was a lack of direct evidence linking the Getty to any wrongdoing in the acquisition.  Criminal proceedings were brought against some of the fishermen and handlers of the statue in Italy in 1968.  Left with little concrete evidence to secure a conviction, the fishermen were acquitted.  Yet as Fiorilli argued, these proceedings were made difficult because the actual statue had been smuggled abroad, and Italian prosecutors were unable to meet their burden.

I'll let Fiorilli make his case in the videos below, and apologies for the low sound levels.  Fiorilli spoke beautiful English, but chose to make his case in Italian, with the help of a translator. 

Cross-posted at

July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - , 1 comment

The 2010 ARCA Conference at Palazzo Petrignani

The 2010 ARCA Conference at Palazzo Petrignani in Amelia
I have just returned from beautiful Amelia and the second annual Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) conference.  Next year's conference will be held July 9-10th in Amelia.  A call for papers and announcement will be posted here in the coming months.

This year the conference was chaired by Founding Director Noah Charney and took place at Palazzo Petrignani at the top of Amelia—a grand setting for the discussion of art crime.  Though the Umbrian sun made the room quite warm at times, the two day conference offered a number of terrific presentations and discussions.  I'd like to draw out a few highlights.  

An International Art Crime Tribunal

Judge Arthur Tompkins delivered the first paper of the conference, discussing what he calls an International Art Crime Tribunal.  Judge Tompkins made a compelling case for the tribunal at last year's conference, and in the edited Art and Crime collection.  Judge Tompkins argued that we need a consistent and fair approach to these art disputes.  He noted that a number of prominent nations of origin like Italy, Greece or Egypt might be initial eager proponents of such a Tribunal; and Rome would perhaps be an ideal venue for the court to sit.  He gave a frank appraisal of the challenges such a Tribunal would face, but noted that the creation of such a tribunal warrants development.  Much like the other international Tribunals and developments had their own champions, and International Art Crime Tribunal would need the same—the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was championed by Eleanor Roosevelt for example.  Judge Tompkins discussed the ongoing dispute over Portrait of Wally, which has stretched on since 1998, comparing it to the Jarndyce v. Jarndyce chancery decision from Dickens' Bleak House.  Perhaps a fair robust Art Crime Tribunal would be better positioned to resolve that dispute in a more timely manner.

File:Egon Schiele 069.jpg
Portrait of Wally, Egon Schiele, subject of a 12-year forfeiture dispute
It was a position challenged however by Howard Spiegler, who was honored at the conference and who also acts as counsel for the successors of Lea Bondi Jaray, who owned the work before fleeing the Nazi's.  Mr. Spiegler argued that none of these parties wanted this dispute to stretch on this long, and that much of the delay was a result of the discovery process which has been an effort to uncover the complicated history of this work since it left Ms. Bondi's possession.  Yet Judge Tompkins responded by noting that the American system of long, protracted discovery does not always promote justice.  It may in some cases, but it also leads to a soul-crushing existence for young lawyers.  Though this research and work is handsomely compensated, it can in my opinion carry a lawyer far from the true practice of law.  That of course is a more general critique, not isolated to the Wally dispute.  Judge Tompkins noted that if a legal system ties the proper adjudication of a claim to one piece of paper or one exchange that may be lost, how can we ever decide a claim?  We are left with an endless search for that one piece of evidence, while the core issues lay unresolved. Though no thinking person would deny the losses during the Second World War, there must be limits to these claims, and we may also consider the loss to the public of a beautiful work of art for nearly 12 years.  Perhaps a Tribunal might allow for future claimants like the Bondi's to pursue their claims, while also allowing for the continued movement of works of art and allowing present possessors to achieve some measure of repose. 

Other Presenters

There were a number of other fine presentations worth mentioning.  Betina Kuzmarov used the dispute of the Qianlong Bronze Heads from the Yves Saint Laurent collection to examine the difficult nature of using objective and subjective standards in cultural property disputes.  Kristen Hower highlighted the importance of histories and proper acquisition of objects by discussing the dilemma faced by art historians in detecting forgeries in Late Antique art, specifically a number of objects known as the Cleveland Marbles.  Chris Marinello discussed the work of the art loss register, pointing out that the ALR has ceased to offer certificates for certain antiquities searches, as the database is unable to effectively determine if these objects have been recently looted from their archaeology.  Jane Milosch discussed the Provenance Research initiatives at the Smithsonian.  Jennifer Kreder and Marc Masurovsky discussed nazi-era spoliation claims from the perspective of the holocaust claimants and their successors.  James Twining discussed his own use of art crime in his popular fiction.  Valerie Higgins discussed the ways in which armed conflict and identity can be remembered and created. 

ARCA Alumni

A number of participants and graduates of last year's ARCA MA program presented their work as well.  Olivia Sladen discussed the importance of due diligence in the art market as it relates to forged works.  Riikka Kongas discussed her work at the Valamo Art Conservation Institute in Finland, discussing the plague of forged Russian icon paintings which are discovered when they are brought in to be conserved.  Catherine Sezgin offered her research on the 1972 theft at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1972.  John Vezeris discussed the work of his company, Annapolis Group International in protecting the works of the historical San Lio church in Venice with Venice in Peril and ARCA.  Colette Marvin analyzed the recent string of art crime exhibits being offered by museums in the United States and Europe. 

ARCA Award Winners

Howard Spiegler, recipient of the ARCA Award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art
Lawrence Rothfield, receiving his Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship
Dick Drent, recipient of the ARCA Award for Art Security and Protection

Charles Hill was unable to attend, but was presented the award for Art Policing and Recovery.

 Next up I'll discuss the comments of Giovanni Pastore, former Vice-Commandant of the Carabinieri Division for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, as well as the comments of Stefano Alessandrini and Maurizio Fiorilli, Italy's Advocate General, both of whom had some interesting comments on the loss of antiquities and on the ongoing dispute over the Bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth currently on display at the Getty Villa. 

Photos of the Conference courtesy of Urska Charney.

(cross-posted at