Showing posts with label ARCA student. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARCA student. Show all posts

May 31, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - , No comments

ARCA 2011 Student Angela Kumar Returns to Amelia to Study History of Art Crime

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-chief

ARCA Blog: What is your academic background and how did you come to commit to a summer in Umbria studying art crime?
Angela: At Florida Atlantic University, I earned a Bachelor of Art History degree with a minor in French and interned for the University Galleries, as well as a local art gallery for which I continued working after graduating. After taking time off to start a family, I intended to return to pursue a master's degree in Liberal Studies followed by a PhD in Comparative Studies only to find that both programs had been eliminated due to budget cuts. Unsure what my next step should be, I remembered reading The Art Thief, by ARCA founder Noah Charney, and recalled there being a website for more information ( I was thrilled to learn about ARCA and the new Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime Studies that was being offered. This part of the history of art was not something that was ever covered in my undergraduate courses. The interdisciplinary approach, the intensive summer-long format and the beautiful, historic location in Umbria all made for an opportunity that I (and my young family) could not pass up.
ARCA Blog: The program culminates in the writing of a publishable article. What area of art crime or cultural protection would you like to research?
Angela: Because it was so lacking in my undergraduate coursework, I would love to develop a survey course in the History of Art Crime for our local university. Certainly, creating an awareness for those already passionate about studying art and its history would contribute to the future prevention of these crimes. Aside from that, I have always been interested in aesthetics and would love to explore how some of these principles might apply to the study of art crime, especially where art institutions, collectors and the art market are concerned. However, I am keeping an open mind. I know very little about criminology, cultural heritage protection laws or security and may decide on a new direction as the course progresses.
ARCA Blog: Do you have a current fascination with an artist or period of art?
Angela: Having studied Art History, I have a great appreciation for all periods of art and the contributions made by the respective artists to our understanding of past cultures and to artistic development. That said, I am very interested in where art is headed and what new developments might be made. Therefore, I am particularly excited about Contemporary Art.
ARCA Blog: Have you traveled or lived in Italy and what would you like to do there when you are not attending lectures?
Angela: I have previously visited Rome, Florence and Venice and had the opportunity to visit Amelia briefly last year. I am looking forward to sharing these great cities with my children and to exploring as many new places as we are able.

April 10, 2011

ARCA 2011 Student James Alex Bond on "The Use of High Value Art and Collectibles to Launder and/or Transfer Capital"

James A. Bond will be attending ARCA's Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies this summer in Amelia. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Textiles from Georgia Institute of Technology; a Master's of Business Administration in Marketing & Finance from Georgia State University; and a Master's in Science in Global Affairs, Security from New York University. A former Special Agent with the United States Air Force, Mr. Bond has also owned three construction companies. He sold his companies and retired in 2006 to return to school for the Global Affairs program at NYU.

Of course, the ARCA blog couldn't wait to interview him and read his paper, "The Use of High Value Art and Collectibles to Launder and/or Transfer Capital," of which has been adapted for a six-part series for this blog.
James A. Bond
ARCA blog: What about the ARCA program attracted you?
Mr. Bond: Diversity of subjects covered, quality of professors, mission of ARCA, and of course the fact it was being taught in Italy. 
ARCA blog: What would you like to do after you have completed your studies? 
Mr. Bond: Start an insurance-security business focusing on private art/collectibles collections. 
ARCA blog: What area of research do you anticipate following as part of the program? 
Mr. Bond: Insurance for private collections and traveling museum exhibits. 
ARCA blog: I enjoyed reading your thesis. Please tell our readers what drew you to this subject and what surprised you about your research and the material? 

Mr. Bond: In the summer of 2009 I was taking a Transnational Crime class as part of my Global Affairs curriculum at NYU and we all had to make presentations on some aspect of Transnational Crime. One of the students did her presentation on art crime and mentioned the New York Times article about ARCA's Postgraduate Program in Art Crime. With my background in security I knew that would be my next educational experience.

When I wrote my thesis for my MS in Global Affairs I wrote on "The Use of High Value Art and Collectibles to Launder and/or Transfer Capital". Being in New York and living in the financial district during the chaotic fall of 2008 and then watching Greece and Ireland suffer sovern debt problems got me thinking about how to best preserve capital and move it if the need arose.

I interviewed many people from FBI agents (3) to collectors, gallery owners, and people in finance. I was surprised at how unwilling gallery owners, collectors were to talk about the concept (read in my thesis about the NO, NO answer the stamp collector gave me) while on the other hand people in security and finance grasp it readily.
The ARCA Blog will begin today to run a series of posts on Mr. Bond's thesis.

November 30, 2010

ARCA Student Kim Alderman Presents "Honor Amongst Thieves"

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin

Kim Alderman, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and a student in ARCA’s Class of 2010 postgraduate program in International Art Crime Studies, presented at the Antiquities Trafficking panel at the American Society of Criminologists Conference in San Francisco in mid-November.

Alderman, who studied art history and archaeology at the University of Maryland at College Park, provided an abstract of her presentation on her blog, Cultural Property and Archaeology Law Blog, and we followed up via email with some questions of our own.

ARCA Blog: Do you believe that organized crime has fueled the illicit antiquities trade since the early 1960s?

Alderman: “Whether organized crime is connected to the illicit antiquities trade depends on how you define “organized crime.” The broad definition of organized crime is three or more people, engaged in a pattern of illegal conduct, for the purpose of obtaining material gains. If you use this definition, then it is correct to say that organized crime is involved in the illicit antiquities trade. From subsistence looters to tombaroli to smugglers, there are always people working in concert to excavate and move illicit antiquities. If you are talking only about mobsters or the mafia, then there is less evidence to support the alleged connection. As to the claim that the involvement began in the 1960s, I suspect this originated with allegations of the mafia’s entry into art theft during that decade, and was later extended by imprecise language to the illicit antiquities trade. There has certainly been increasingly organized subversion in the illicit antiquities trade since then, although whether the 1960s served as a temporal starting point for such organization remains to be seen.”

ARCA Blog: Is the illicit antiquities trade linked to money laundering, extortion, the drug and arms trades, terrorism and even slavery?

Alderman: “Claims that the illicit antiquities trade is connected with money laundering, extortion, the drug and arms trades, terrorism, and slavery, should be taken individually. The purchasing of illicit art and antiquities has long been a way to take cash gained from criminal activities and convert it to the ownership of goods, thereby concealing the source of the funds. Extortion would be more an issue for stolen artwork, and I have not observed a link between it and antiquities. As to terrorism, there are discrete instances of terrorist groups unearthing and exporting antiquities in their local regions, but these instances serve as indicators of a potential connection – not hard evidence. Finally, as to the alleged connection between illicit antiquities and the drug and arms trades or slavery, Eastern European mafias have been accused of trafficking in “everything from antiquities to humans.”

ARCA Blog: Thank you, Kim.

Readers can follow Kim Alderman at