Showing posts with label ARCA Postgraduate Certificate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARCA Postgraduate Certificate. Show all posts

July 6, 2017

ARCA's 8th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Art Crime has been a great success

By: Edgar Tijhuis

ICOM Red Lists Highlighted at the 2017 Amelia Conference
Last weekend ARCA held its yearly conference in the beautiful town of Amelia, seat of its Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. With a record number of attendees from  international organizations, law enforcement agencies, academics, cultural institutions, and private sector professionals in the art and antiquities fields – the conference, in its 8th year offered a unique meeting point for those interested in art related crimes. 

Feint of Art

Judith Harris, Image Credit: Nour Abdel Ghafour
The first panel brought a number of new perspectives on fakes and forgeries. Mustafa Ergül, a librarian and archivist at SALT in Istanbul, Turkey, offered an overview of painting forgery in Turkish art scene since the 1990s, and the cultural, economic and legal aspects around it. Judith Harris, an American freelance journalist working in Italy, continued and initiated the audience into the con acts of of Christian Parisot, convicted in Italy as well as in France of fraudulent authentications of Modigliani works. Liliana Wuffli, from the University of Lausanne, pointed at the lack of resources aimed at fakes and forgeries and discussed her research project that seeks to build a tool to prevent fakes and forgeries from entering the market. Finally, Andrea Borroni, a professor at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, discussed the seemingly legal quagmire that comes from mistakes in attributions, like for example, this event which occurred this year when specialists at the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum discovered that the painting, The Braunschweig Terrier, attributed for more  than 250  years to  a  little  known  German painter, had actually been authored by Rembrandt.

The Gift of Our Fathers: Cultural Heritage Crime and its Regional and Transborder Consequences in Current and Former Conflict Zones

Maamoun Abdulkarim, Image Credit: Nour Abdel Ghafour
While the destruction and smuggling of cultural heritage from war zones usually only comes to us through the general media, this year’s conference included a unique panel with experts from Syria and Iraq and Bosnia & Herzogovina. Maamoun Abdulkarim, of the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), provided his first-hand look at the fight against trafficking in antiquities in Syria.  Samer Abdel Ghafour, founder of ArchaeologyIN, continued this discourse on looted Syrian antiquities with a further analysis of a specific case of trafficking in the country before the start of the present conflict and his organization's role in identifying the object and notifying the authorities as to its trafficking. 

Layla Salih, from the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage at the Ministry of Culture in Iraq (SBAH), followed with an overview of the realities on the ground in Northern Iraq, especially in territories once occupied by Da'esh. Finally, Dženan Jusufović and Senad Begović from the Centar Protiv Krijumčarenja Umjetninama (CPKU) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, discussed their country's impediments in fighting trafficking in art.

ARCA 2017 Minerva Scholars, Image Credit: Nour Abdel Ghafour
This panel also highlighted ARCA's Minerva Scholarship, which allows scholars from conflict countries to study with the Association's postgraduate program each year.

$acred $ites and Buried Trea$ure: Alternative Approaches to Mitigating Trafficking
Vijay Kumar, Image Credit: Nour Abdel Ghafour
In this panel, some innovative new approaches were presented to counter illicit trafficking. Vijay Kumar, founder of the India Pride Project, explained how the project aims to bring India’s cultural treasures home by leveraging the power of social media  – a grassroots movement that pushes for restitution with impressive results so far. Sam Hardy, Honorary Research Associate with the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, followed with a presentation on metal detecting and its impact on portable antiquities find sites. Finally, Jessica Kamphuis, graduate of ARCA’s 2015 program, drew an interesting comparison between the trafficking cultural heritage and endangered species from the perspective of border security.

The Thin Blue Line: Art Crimes from the Perspectives of Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Private Investigators

Captain Rapicavoli from the Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, Italy's Art and Antiquities Squad elaborated on the online market in illicit art and the way the Italian Art Squad deals with this new challenge. Next was Martin Finkelnberg, head of the Art and Antique Crime Unit, National Criminal Intelligence Division at the National Police of the Netherlands spoke on the one day law enforcement plenary, which stressed the the need for dedicated public prosecutors for art-related criminal investigations and prosecutions and emphasized that under present constraints, often the focus in law enforcement is on the recovery of stolen and plundered works of art, and after that on trying to catch and or convict the related perpetrators.

Finkelnberg also pointed out the complications of the enormous diversity of legislation in Europe in combatting art crimes. Lastly he reminded attendees that analytical estimates on how much money ISIS is making on plundered antiquities as a means of financing terrorism is based on very limited evidence and base assumptions, though there is evidence that ISIS does tax antiquities and excavating.

Saturdays session concluded with Steve Cook, co-founder of Tagsmart, explaining how advances in nano-technology, applied to artworks as an identifier, along with a unique code which links directly to the artwork’s online record has proven successful and effective in authenticating artworks and deterring art crime.  

Art Proves a Refuge

In this panel Katharina Stoll, a Senior Consultant with Protiviti GmbH, explained how specific anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures,  the process of a business identifying and verifying the identity of its clients as a preventative measure necessary to monitor for money laundering, could also be applied when vetting art market actors. She applied her experience in AML cases and practices to bridge the academic and art market dialogue on this topic. The author of this blogpost, an independent writer and consultant from Amsterdam, continued with a presentation on the MOSE Project in Venice, a multi-billion euro project, which has been plagued by corruption, that may not be able to protect Venice from flooding and could potentially be an art crime in the making. 

Ownership History - Asset or Liability for the Art Market? 

Through a selection of case studies of organisations participating at TEFAF Maastricht 2017, Gareth Fletcher, from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, presented a comparative analysis of provenance information provided for objects for sale and the relationships between its dissemination, complexity and the market performance of the objects. Yagna Yass-Alston, an independent researcher on the plunder and destruction of Jewish Collections in Poland during the WWII followed with the remarkable history of paintings from the collection of Leon Holzer, Kraków,  lost in wartime between 1939 and 1945.   Finally, Marc Masurovsky, acting director of the ERR project, spoke to the audience about one of the most unusual art thefts of World War II from the Führerbau - translated as "the Führer's building", Adolf Hitler's administrative building on Arcisstraße in Munich.

It was in the Führerbau that the Nazis amassed more than 700 confiscated or stolen paintings, mostly Old Masters, taken throughout Europe during World War II by the Sonderauftrag Linz, to fill the Third Reich's planned Führermuseum in Hitler's hometown of Linz, Austria. While the US 3rd Army met light to moderate resistance as it overran Munich, unknown individuals made off with
some 650 paintings on April 29, 1945, of which, 70 years later, only a few have been located. 

Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbour’s Goods

Lucia Patrizio Gunning, a teaching fellow at the Department of History at the University College London, started this panel with a discussion of past perspectives on collecting in the Near East, examining the circumstances that allowed western museums and collectors to amass Assyrian, Greek and Egyptian antiquities, the motives that brought the nations, museums and individuals to the area, the means by which they were able to excavate and remove archaeological finds, and the outcomes of their activities on the personal and institutional level.  Giovanna Carugno, Ph.D., Candidate at the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, and tutor at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II elaborated on the evolution of EU legislation, beginning from the Treaty of Rome through the new Directive 2014/60/EU relating to the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State. Finally, Marco Seghesio, from the University of Milan, discussed the destruction of cultural property as a war crime, using the Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi case as example. 

Whose Property? Whose Culture? The Role of Institutions 

Jamie Perry from the US Department of Justice, outlined the investigatory, prosecutive and police work of the Human Rights Special Prosecutions Section. After that, Dorit Straus, of Art and Insurance Advisory Services, spoke about the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) of the US Department of State,  Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) which was established by Section 306 of the 1983 Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act to advise the president (or his designee) on appropriate U.S. action in response to requests from State Parties for assistance in protecting their cultural heritage, pursuant to Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention.

Aperna Tandon
Image Credit: Nour Abdel Ghafour
Lastly, the day was concluded with a presentation by Aparna Tandon, risk management and emergency recovery expert at ICCROM, who focused her talk on the organization's international capacity development programme on disaster risk management and its evacuation of heritage collections in case of emergencies.

Conference Venue,
Image Credit: Nour Abdel Ghafour
The conference weekend concluded Sunday afternoon and over the next few days attendees made their way homeward.  Those already looking forward to next years conference can mark their calendars for the weekend of June 22-24, 2018.  

We thank the organization for this unique gathering of experts from all over the world in the tranquil and inspiring environment of Amelia. 

May 17, 2017

Blast from ARCA Program Pasts: ARCA'13 Alum Summer Clowers asks: Is the ARCA program for you? Really now.

A medieval town & its secret passageways
by Summer Clowers, ARCA 2013

WARNING: this essay is a work of satire.  It will be best understood if read in the voice of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, from Downton Abbey.

As an ARCA alumna, I have come to warn you about all of the things that you will hate about this small program on art crime. In that vein, I here offer you a list of the woes of living in a small Umbrian town the likes of which will keep you up at night as you scroll through old Facebook photos.  A letter of warning, if you will, to all prospective ARCA-ites. Should you choose to ignore my advice, I cannot be responsible for the consequences.

Your first few days in Amelia will leave you with an intense urge to explore and make friends.  The town is ancient, surrounded on most sides by a Neolithic wall with even more history buried beneath it.  There are secret passages and hidden rooms and you’re going to want to grab a new-found buddy and sneak through every one of them.  DON’T.  The more you explore, the more you will love the town, and it will make it that much harder to leave.  Yes, there is a secret Roman cellar underneath one of the restaurants.  Yes, the town’s people do scatter the roads with rose petals in the shape of angels every June.  Yes, there quite possibly is a hidden room in your classmate's flat.  All of these things are beside the point.  Walk steady on the path and avoid all temptations to adventure.

As for friends, stick with people that live near to you back in the real world.  I know Papa di Stefano is fantastic, and yes, he will befriend you in a way that transcends language, but do you really want to miss him when you’ve gone?  And your fellow students?  Well, most of them are going to live nowhere near you.  Do you really need to have contacts in Lisbon and Melbourne and New York and Amsterdam?  No, you don’t.  It’s so damp in the Netherlands and we all know London is just atrocious.  I mean really, all those people. Take my advice, ignore anyone that lives far away from you.  You are here to learn and leave, not make connections that will last you the rest of forever.

You will also want to avoid the town’s locals.  Amelia is tiny, so getting to know most of its shopkeepers and inhabitants will not be very hard, but you must resist the urge to do so.  It’s true that Massimo will know your coffee order before you get fully through his door, and the Count will open his home with a smile to show you around his gorgeous palazzo, but these things are not proper.  Do not mistake their overflowing kindness and warmth for anything other than good breeding.  And when you find yourself sobbing at the thought of saying goodbye to Monica, you can just blame your tears on the pollen like the rest of us.

Your instructors are going to be just as big of a challenge.  The professor’s are really too friendly.  I know that Noah Charney says that he’s available for lunch and Dick Ellis will happily have a beer with you, but is getting to know your professor socially really appropriate?  I mean, we’ve all attended seminars where you barely see the speaker outside of stolen moments during coffee breaks, and that’s the best way for things to go, isn’t it?  Sterile classroom experience with little to no professorial interactions is the way academic things should run.  I know I never saw any of my professor’s outside of class.  And I certainly don’t keep up with Judge Tompkin’s travels through his hilarious emails; that would just be inappropriate.

And then there’s the conference.  It lasts an entire weekend.  Why would I want to attend a weekend long event where powerhouses in the field open up their brains for poor plebeians?  I mean honestly, meeting Christos Tsirogiannis at the conference will be a high point in your year, and it will be too difficult to control your nerdy spasms when Toby Bull sits down next to you at dinner.  And then, when you find out that Christos joined ARCA's teaching team in 2014 and you’ll find yourself scrambling to come up with a way to take the program a second time just so you can pick his brain. Think about how much work that will be.  They aim to make this an easy experience where you rarely have to use powers of higher thinking.  This should be like the grand tour, a comfortable time away from home so that you can tell others that you simply summered in Italy. 

And the program would be so much better served in Rome.  I mean, just think on it.  You would never have to learn Italian because you’d be in a city full of tourists.  You’d get to pay twice as much for an apartment a third of the size of the one you rent in Amelia, and you wouldn’t have to live near any of your class mates.  A city the size of Rome is big enough that a half hour metro ride to each other’s places would be pretty much de rigueur.  This means you wouldn’t have to deal with any of those impromptu dinner/study sessions at the pool house.  And there certainly wouldn’t be random class-wide wine tastings at the Palazzo Venturelli. That’s just too much socializing anyway.  It’s unseemly.

And finally, let’s talk about the classes.  Do we really care about art crime? Sure, Dick Drent is pretty much the coolest human you’ll ever meet, and Dorit Straus somehow manages to make art insurance interesting, but really, do we care?  Isn’t that better left to one’s financial advisor?  And the secret porchetta truck that the interns will show you as you study the intricacies of art law, could surely be found on one’s own.  Couldn’t it?  I think we would all be much better served by just watching the terrible Monuments Men movie, fawning over George Clooney and Matt Damon, and thinking about the things we could be doing all from the safety and comfort of our own homes.  I do so hate leaving home.  The ARCA program involves work, and ten courses with ten different professors, and classmates that will quickly become family. It’s all so exhausting.  I mean really, tell me, does this sound like the program for you?

ARCA Editorial Note:  If you would like more information on ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program, please write to us at: education (at) artcrimeresearch.org 

We will put you on the list to receive application materials when the 2018 application period opens in Autumn 2017. 

November 20, 2016

Conference: Provenance Research Colloquium, November 30, 2016 - Munich

Delivery of art works at the south entrance
of the Collecting Point, 1945-46
© Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte

Location: 
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich Germany

Date:  
30 November 2016

Cost: 
The colloquium is free to the public and registration is not required

Note: 
Language of the colloquium is German and English

The Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, or ZI for short, in Munich is Germany's only independent art historical research institute. The last panel of the day is worth pondering: is provenance research an academic discipline or an investigative pursuit?

ARCA thinks it is both and for that reason has incorporated a provenance training course into our 2016 postgraduate program lineup.

From the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte website:

"The ZI was founded in 1946/1947 as an independent research institute in direct connection with the Central Collecting Point (CCP) of the American military government in the former Administrative Building of the National Socialist party. For over 20 years the institute has been researching and publishing its findings on the art history of National Socialism and that of the immediate postwar era. In the specific area of “Provenance Research / Value of Cultural Assets” numerous research, inventory, digitization and database projects have been initiated by the ZI and achieved with various national and international collaborative partners."

A PDF of the day's program can be accessed here.

By: Summer Clowers