Showing posts with label Art in War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Art in War. Show all posts

July 20, 2016

ARCA's Postgraduate Program: From the Eyes of a 2016 Student - Part II


I’m not sure whether it makes more sense to say that we’re only halfway through with the ARCA postgraduate program or that we’re already halfway through with the program. On the one hand, we have had the good fortune of hearing from six expert professors and have covered all sorts of ground—academic and professional terrain alike—in the study of art crime: from heritage law to art insurance, from art policing to forgery, and from museum security to war crimes. We’ve practically memorized most of the UNESCO conventions at this point, we’re capable of sketching out the infamous Medici trafficking organigram at the blow of a whistle, and we’re all pretty used to having revenge-fantasy dreams about prosecuting certain museums with less-than acceptable collection ethics and repatriating all of their loot.

On the other hand, however, it feels like we’ve only just arrived in Amelia and that there’s still a whole lot more for us to learn in the coming weeks about cultural heritage protection. We’ve yet to encounter the international art market or art criminology head-on, and we’re not quite sure whether we believe the Spanish or the British are more entitled to Goya’s Portrait of the Duke of Wellington. Moreover, we still don’t know how we would actually steal the Ghent Altarpiece or Munch’s The Scream and this makes me wonder: can anyone really fashion him or herself an art crime expert without knowing how to pull off a major museum heist? It’s probably a good thing that we’re only halfway done with the ARCA program, but I’ll share with you what we’ve covered in the courses so far since we are, after all, already halfway finished with the program.  


Following Duncan Chappell’s course our studies shifted from the subject of art law to its not-too-distant relative, art insurance. Dorit Straus, art insurance veteran and board member at AXA Art, served as the instructor for this course. Straus has had a lengthy and exciting career with all sorts of cinematic turns and climaxes. Its major plot twist: Straus began her career studying Near Eastern Archaeology and only later in life migrated into the world of art insurance. For those of us trained in the humanities—which is to say, with little to no background in the fine arts market—Straus guaranteed a convenient point of entry into the study of art insurance. Pairing her formal explanations with fascinating anecdotes, Straus shaped and colored the art insurance industry with remarkable and stunning mastery. By the end of the week Straus had students map out the entire process of acquiring art insurance coverage in role-play exercises—a form of evaluation that was, I am sure, most entertaining for Dorit herself.

We then heard from Richard Ellis, founder of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Squad, who covered lessons on the dark, seedy underbelly that is the black market. Ellis did a solid job explaining the ins and outs of INTERPOL and clarified the issues that police forces deal with in an event of art theft—issues that are quite distinct from the ones that insurers, collectors, or museums address. One of the recurring lessons that Ellis repeated over and over again was the importance of knowing one’s enemy.  Understanding the motives that animate an episode of art crime, Ellis stressed, is always integral to the investigation process. At the conclusion of his course Ellis held a charming cocktail gathering that was, I would hold, much needed after a tense week studying some pretty serious material.

ARCA founder Noah Charney took the reigns for our next course on forgery. Charney launched his weeklong course with an art history lesson in which students were asked to perform visual analysis on a set of Caravaggio paintings. This exercise offered an exciting opportunity for students to truly interface with the very objects that had been broached in previous courses but perhaps not formally or materially addressed. It was a delight to work through Caravaggio’s endlessly fascinating visual puzzles, and Charney’s thorough guidance and insightful explanations proved to be especially useful in our brief art historical investigation. The rest of the week was spent differentiating (conceptually) fakes from forgeries, discussing the psychological profile of art forgers, and reviewing some of the major historical cases that constitute Charney’s sector of the art crime world. With Charney still in town, ARCA held its annual interdisciplinary conference—an exciting three days of panel discussions that another student, Cate Waldram, will  be posting on in greater detail.

After a weekend of conference talks and cocktail parties ARCA students met with security pundit Dick Drent. Following 25 years in law enforcement, Drent joined the staff at Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands and continues to provide security advising through his consulting group, Omnirisk. Though Drent’s energy and countenance might feel as formidable and high-stakes as his work, the Dutch professor’s instruction was often light and playful—much like the goofy videos he would screen at the beginning of class too lighten the mood, especially since his course covers everything from everyday threats to Active Shooter incidents.

At the end of Drent’s class students carried out a security audit at a museum. In this exercise students set out to observe surveillance cameras, security guards, museum layouts, fire prevention strategies, smoke detectors, alarm systems, and so on. The exercise gave ARCA students a unique opportunity to spend a day at a museum not admiring precious artworks but instead observing the very security systems that attempt to protect these objects.

At the conclusion of Drent’s course students delved headfirst into “Art Crime During War” with Judge Arthur Tompkins. Tompkins’ hefty lesson plans and near-impeccable knowledge of world history made for an information-rich crash course in our study of art crime during conflict. At the outset of his first lesson Tompkins traced the origins of art crime all the way back to the ancient world.

The looting of what might be anachronistically termed “cultural property” often went part and parcel with military combat and imperial campaigns in the ancient world—thus giving birth to the lengthy history of what we now study as art crime. Tompkins then traversed the entire chronology of war—passing through the Middle Ages and early modernity until reaching the late twentieth century—and identified the various renditions of art crime that have plagued nation-states and peoples during times of conflict. By the end of the course students were asked to submit a paper detailing one particular episode of art crime that took place in the midst of combat. Students wrote about everything from plunders during antiquity to more recent art theft in the Middle East to the destruction of libraries in the American Civil War. 

So there you have it! We have covered vast terrain in the world art crime and are already halfway experts in the field. I’ll get back to you with more storytelling and info when we’re only a few short steps away from calling ourselves full-on, to-the-core certificate-ready professionals!

By:  Christopher Falcone

December 3, 2014

Judge Arthur Tompkins to present historical survey section of his "Art in War" course at Victoria University in Spring 2015 in Wellington

Judge Arthur Tompkins, ARCA trustee and faculty member, is presenting the historical survey section of his "Art in War" course as a Continuing Education Short Course at Victoria University in April/May 2015, in Wellington, New Zealand.  Taught over 5 two-hour evening sessions, on five sequential Wednesdays - April 8th, 15th, 22, and 29 April, and 6th May, 2015 - the course will examine the history of art crime during armed conflict, ranging from Classical Antiquity, through the Fourth Crusade, the Thirty Years' War, the Napoleonic era, the first and second World Wars, and finally Iraq and Afghansitan.


A link to the course details, including a more detailed course outline, is http://cce.victoria.ac.nz/courses/302-art-in-war

April 24, 2014

Gurlitt Art Collection: Opinion: "What to do with the Munich Art Trove?"

by Judge Arthur Tompkins

The missteps by the German federal and state authorities continue, as they try but so far fail properly to deal with the many art works known variously as the Munich Art Trove, the Schwabing Art Trove, or the Gurlitt Art hoard (“Modern Art as Nazi Plunder”, The New York Times, April 14; “Gurlitt art confiscation ends”, The Art Newspaper, April 9, 2014). 

To recap: In March 2012 Bavarian tax authorities stumble on over 1400 works of art in a nondescript Munich flat, owned by Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a Nazi-era German art dealer. They sit on the news for a year and a half until, in November 2013, German media break the news to a stunned world and, increasingly, an angry and frustrated group of widely dispersed possible claimants. Initially, stonewalling and bluster and a dismissively bureaucratic attitude are on display, until the intervention of Federal authorities leads to the reluctant acknowledgement that this is not just another local tax evasion case. But the release of details of the art works continues to be frustratingly slow and incomplete.

Visits to other homes owned by Mr. Gurlitt reveal even more art works, some in deteriorated condition, amid both ongoing calls for much greater openness in deciding just what would happen to the art works, and questions about the legality of the seizure of the works by the Bavarian authorities. 

Eventually, a multinational Task Force to investigate the provenance of the art works is announced by the German Government. Potential problems with Nazi-era laws, still on the statute books in Germany, loom, as does the absence from Germany’s statute books of any law requiring the return of Nazi-era looted art.

Now comes further disquieting news: The German Government has announced a deal, apparently negotiated with Mr. Gurlitt’s legal guardian, his defense counsel and the Bavarian authorities, (but without it seems the involvement or indeed knowledge of any representatives of the dispossessed), “to allow provenance research on a voluntary basis once the works are released from police custody.” But the Task Force will be up against an arbitrary one year deadline, after which provenance research will continue, it seems, only at Mr. Gurlitt’s pleasure. One short year to investigate and decide what should happen to over 1500 individual art works, many of which had been acquired by a dubious art dealer in times of chaos and circumstances of disaster 70 years ago, that had been hidden for decades with no whisper of their continued existence, and the details (and even images) of which are, even today, still incomplete. One year? Really?

And, on the same day, comes word that an unidentified rival claim to Matisse’s “Woman Sitting in Armchair” has come forward, jeopardizing negotiations to return that one painting to the heirs of French art dealer Paul Rosenberg just as an agreement to return the painting seemed close. And that is only one painting, albeit one with an uncharacteristically clear and well-established provenance. If there are problems with the Matisse, in a relatively straightforward case, what is to be the fate of the very many others where the records are missing or incomplete or inconsistent, the evidence patchy or confused or inconclusive, and the path to a resolution likely to prove labyrinthine?

The German government needs to accept that this mess is not a German tangle to unravel. It is unavoidably an international one. The creation of the Task Force was a partial recognition of that, but the continuing and serial missteps and errors, and the persistent inability or reluctance to be completely open about what is happening on the part of both the Bavarian and German Federal authorities, and now the imposition of an arbitrary and unrealistic deadline, demonstrate that, for whatever reason, the complexity of the truly international nature of the multi-faceted challenges presented by these art works eludes them.

What should happen, and quickly, is the creation of an independent, well-resourced ad-hoc international tribunal to determine the fate of each and every one of the many art works recovered. The Tribunal itself should consist of international jurists and others with a range of art-crime related skills, assisted by a staff of independent provenance researchers, art and general historians, claimant advocates, and dispute resolution specialists.

Secondly, that tribunal should be given the job, by German legislation and international treaty working in tandem, of resolving the fate of each art work by employing first a range of dispute resolution processes. If those processes do not result in an agreed just and fair solution, then the Tribunal should have the jurisdiction to decide each case by giving due weight and recognition to the moral aspects of each case, in addition to relevant legal factors. 70 years on, much relevant evidence, even if it once existed, is gone. All contemporary witnesses to Hildebrand Gurlitt’s activities are dead. Many records and documents that might once have existed have been lost or mislaid or destroyed in the chaos of wartime and post-war Europe. In those circumstances, to compel sometimes inadequately resourced claimants onto a strictly legal battlefield, hedged about with evidential and procedural constraints within the artificially narrow construct of a sovereign state’s domestic legal system, and then to require them to fight a legal battle against that same sovereign state, will likely pile future injustice on the top of past wrongs.

The December 1998 Washington Principles, to which Germany is a signatory, demand identification of looted art, open and accessible records, the public dissemination of art proactively to seek out pre-War owners or heirs, and the deploying of resources and personnel. A “just and fair” solution must actively be sought. Germany has been, at best, a cautious adopter of these principles. Fifteen years on, these 1500 art works give Germany the opportunity to cut this Gordian knot. Such an approach is not unprecedented. The various threads already exist, in both the looted art arena and elsewhere. All that is required is the will and the leadership simply to do it. 

Judge Arthur Tompkins is a trial Judge from Wellington, New Zealand. He teaches Art in War each year as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Art Crimes Studies offered by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (www.artcrimeresearch.org), in Umbria, Italy.

February 9, 2014

Judge Arthur Tompkins returns to teach "Art in War" for ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection

In 2014 Judge Arthur Tompkins will be teaching his Art in War course for the 5th consecutive year. Judge Tompkins began his work with ARCA back in 2009 when he traveled to Amelia for the first of a two-part presentation at the International Art Crime Conference to discuss a possible pathway to creating an International Art Crime Tribunal. In 2010, as well as presenting the second part of his proposal to the conference Judge Tompkins first taught his Art in War course. This year his course will run from June 30-July 2 and July 7-July 9

Judge Tompkins has been a District Court Judge in New Zealand for 17 years. He gained his Bachelor’s degree in Law from Canterbury University, in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1983, and subsequently graduated Masters in Law, with First Class Honours, from Cambridge University, England, in 1984. Over the years he has taught the Law of Evidence, and presented at numerous conferences and workshops on a variety of topics, including expert evidence, the intersect between law and science in the Courtroom, and most extensively in relation to forensic DNA and forensic DNA Databanks, in New Zealand, China, England, Ireland, France and Mauritius. He is an Honorary Member of Interpol’s DNA Monitoring Expert Group. This year he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pitcairn Island.

What makes your course relevant in the study of art crime?

Art has always suffered in times of war – right down through all the many centuries from the first recorded instance of plundering of art during wartime – the taking of the Stele of Hammurabi by the Elamites from Babylon to Susa in the 12th century BCE - to the disastrous shelling of the Crac des Chevaliers in the ongoing Syrian conflict. And the crimes against art committed during wartime span the full spectrum from the vast, organised and systematic plundering of art by Napoleon and the Nazis, to the opportunistic ‘souveniring’ of art by individual soldiers amid the chaos of the battlefield, and everything in between. How societies have sought to prevent to lessen such crimes, and to provide some degree of redress, in the past provides valuable insight and guidance as to what might be done in the future.

What will be the focus in your course?

The first half of the course covers a historical survey of art crimes during war. We start with Classical Antiquity, including the sack of Corinth by the Romans, then jump forward to the Fourth Crusade and the pillaging of Constantinople. From there we move forward a few centuries again, to the Thirty Years’ War, and from there to Napoleonic France.

On Day Two, we start with the First World War, move through the Second World War, and end with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, (and this sounds much more daunting than it actually is when we do it) we cover over 2000 years in two days …!

The half day that ends the first part of the course is devoted to Libraries – including the libraries at Alexandria, the Library of the Palatinate, the Bosnian National Library, and the US’s Library of Congress. I am hopeful that this year there will also be a guest presentation by one of ARCA’s alumni on another fascinating library’s history.

The second half of the course concentrates on the legal response to what has happened over the centuries. We look at a variety of public international and private legal responses, including the Laws of War, the various Conventions aimed at protecting art and cultural heritage, non-binding international agreements and the like, and then issues arising from private claims to recover looted or stolen art. We end the course with a look at other forms of possible redress, and some selected student presentations to the class.

Do you have a recommended reading list that students can read before the course?

I recommend that students read the classic work of scholarship in this area, Lynn Nicholas’ The Rape of Europa, and also either or both of Robert Edsel’s books on the Monuments’ Men. And this year in particular, I would also suggest they go see the George Clooney/Cate Blanchett movie, ‘The Monuments Men’. How Cate Blanchett portrays one of my personal heroes of the fight against art crime in war, Rose Valland, I will be fascinated to see!

I would also recommend, as a way of reading themselves into the historical ambience of a couple of parts of the course, Geraldine Brook’s People of the Book, and Sara Houghteling’s Pictures at an Exhibition, are both fictionalised accounts of events we cover in the course.

Finally, and these are three personal favourites relating to various aspects of the course, I would point folk to Baez’s A Universal History of the Destruction of Books, Freeman’s The Horses of St Marks: A Story of Triumph in Byzantium, Paris and Venice, and O’Connor’s The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.

January 9, 2014

Thursday, January 09, 2014 - , No comments

Destruction of Art in War: Fire and Water -- The revenge tragedy that caused the destruction of the Library at Nineveh

Clay tablet from the Library of Nineveh,
 excavated by A.H. Layard.
 Courtesy of the British Museum

by A.M.C. Knutsson, ARCA Graduate 2013

“I destroyed it more completely than a devastating flood. So that in future days the site of that city and (its) temples would not be recognized, I totally dissolved it with water and made it like inundated land.” [1]
Sennacherib on the annihilation of Babylon 689 BC.


“On the Nth day of the month Âbu they inflicted a major defeat upon a great people. At that time Sin-šar-iškun, king of Assyria, died. They carried off the vast booty of the city and the temple and turned the city into a ruin heap.”[2]
The Fall of Nineveh Chronicle 612 BC


In 612 BC, an army of Medes and Babylonians attacked Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian empire and home of the ancient world’s largest library.[3] The city fell 2.5 months later shortly after the death of the Assyrian king, Sin-šar-iškun.[4] The destruction of Nineveh was part of “the revenge tragedy”, the practice of revenge attacks between Assyria and Babylonia.[5] According to a declaration of war commissioned by ruler Nabopolassar, the Babylonians took revenge for the plundered lands and looting of the Esaglia temple and treasury in Babylon.[6] The habitual looting seems to have been commonplace in the ancient Near East, with the movement of cultural objects between different regions, creating an increasingly complex historical record.

The creation of the Royal Library of Nineveh has often been attributed to Ashurbanipal and whilst a large part of the collections were formed by him, the collecting had started earlier. Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal’s father and predecessor is known to have collected books on protection against curses and illness.[7] He does not seem to have been as scholarly inclined as his son however, and it was not until the reign of Ashurbanipal that the ambitions for a world library emerged.[8]

Ashurbanipal’s great learning and interest in knowledge collecting has been linked to the idea that he was raised into the priesthood, but this remains a speculation.[9] However, there is no doubt that when he came to the throne in 668 BC he had already been immersed in extensive scholarship. In one of his own inscriptions Ashurbanipal states: “I have read cunningly written text(s) in obscure Sumerian (and) Akkadian that are difficult to unravel. I have examined confused kakku sakku inscriptions on stone (dating) from before the Flood.”[10] “Moreover, I, Ashurbanipal, acquired there the craft of Nabû, all scribal learning. I have studied the lore of every single one of the master scholars.”[11] Once in control of Assyria, Ashurbanipal found himself in a position to amass knowledge from all corners of his empire.

Ashurbanipal almost immediately authorised massive acquisitions of books. He commissioned ‘shopping lists’ to be sent out to all parts of the known world, from Egypt to Anatolia, to acquire all the knowledge in the world.[12] Assyria has been compared to Rome in the sense that it had little culture of its own and was therefore inclined to import that of a neighbour. In the case of Assyria this neighbour was Babylonia, which had rich cultural and scholarly traditions as well as a rebellious spirit. [13] Hence, from the very beginning of his reign Ashurbanipal encouraged Babylonian scholars to copy books from the great temple libraries in Babylon and Borsippa for his collections.[14]

However, in 652 BC Ashurbanipal’s brother, the ruler of Babylonia, Šamaš-šum-ukīn rebelled against his brother and relations broke down.[15] It is possible that it was after this betrayal that Ashurbanipal started to be more forceful in his acquisition of books. In 648 BC when Šamaš-šum-ukīn’s uprising finally failed, a great influx of Babylonian writing boards reached Ashurbanipal’s library. These were probably taken as loot or were produced by forced labour.[16] Stories of Babylonian scholars chained up in Assyrian libraries and forced to write down all they knew might have originated from this era.[17]

Image from Hutchinson’s
‘Story of the Nations’
At Ashurbanipal’s death the library seems to have been moved and parts might still be buried under the sand. Twenty-five years later when the Medes reached Nineveh no mercy was shown to the library and it was burnt along with the rest of the city.

Following the burning of Nineveh, the King’s palace and the library were buried under layers of sand and dust. It would not re-emerge until 1849 when Sir Austen Henry Layard rediscovered it. Following extensive excavations of the site the library buildings along with over 20,000 tablets and fragments were revealed,[18] This number represents only a small part of the original library holdings. Most of the stock of the library, containing wax tablets, papyrus and leather scrolls, was destroyed in the destruction of Nineveh and only the clay tablets survived, which were baked in the fire.[19] It is difficult to calculate the extent of the original library and what might have been lost, but a conservative number indicates that a third has survived. However, it is possible that the clay tablets currently known make up a mere 10% of the original library stock.[20] The calculations have been made based on Ashurbanipal’s shopping lists and remain tentative.[21] Even if relying on the more conservative numbers the Royal Library was not of inconsiderable size. The library may have been twice as big as its more famous sister, the Library of Alexandria. [22]

The destruction of the library at Nineveh was by no means an unavoidable occurrence. It seems likely that had the Medes allies, the Babylonians, reached the library before the Medes, matters could have ended very differently. Karen Radner has argued that had the Babylonians reached the library first, it would probably have been looted as they would have been eager to bring the Babylonian texts back to their country of origin.[23] This seems to be supported by a statement made by Nabopolassar in his declaration of war. He exclaimed that in order to avenge the destruction of Babylon he would reclaim the looted temple treasures taken by the Assyrians.[24] Might this also refer to the books which Ashurbanipal acquired from Babylon following the collapse of his brother’s revolt? It is by no means unlikely that the knowledge cherishing Babylonians would have included the writing tablets in this since many had originally come from Babylon or at least been produced by Babylonian scholars.

The fated Library of Nineveh creates an interesting dilemma. Whilst the destruction of the library might at first seem like the worst possible outcome, this is not necessarily the case. If the library had been looted by the Babylonians, it is likely that very little of the material would had survived until today. If texts had survived they would most likely be highly fragmentary, such as the surviving copies of The Epic of Gilgamesh. However, due to the nature of clay tablets, the fire that destroyed the rest of the city baked and preserved these texts, making them stable enough to survive under the desert sand for almost 2,500 years. This ‘destruction’ has left us with the largest ‘intact’ collection of ancient literature in the Near East and an unparalleled tool to interpret the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian worlds.[25]

Furthermore, it has provided modern scholars with the most complete copy of the first known story on earth The Epic of Gilgamesh.[26] Whilst the annihilation of Assyria and destruction of its memory might have been the intended end when the Medes and Babylonians approached the walls of Nineveh, their actions have in fact left us with an unparalleled insight into their previously forgotten world.

Bibliography:


Frame, Grant  & George, A.R.,  “The Royal Libraries of Nineveh: New Evidence for King Ashurbanipal’s Tablet Collecting”, Iraq, Vol 67, No 1, (Spring, 2005), p.277

Jastow, Morris, “Did the Babylonian Temples have Libraries?”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol 27 (1906), p.147

MacGinnis, J.D.A., ‘Ctesias and the Fall of Nineveh’, Illinois Classical Studies, Vol 13, No1, pp. 37-8

Menant, Joachim, La Bibliothèque du Palais de Nineve, (1880)

Paulus, Michael J. , “Review: The Buried Book”, The American Archivist, Vol 71, No. 1 (Spring – Summer, 2008), p. 293

Van De Mieroop, Marc, ‘A Tale of Two Cities: Nineveh and Babylon”, Iraq, Vol 66. (2004), p. 3

Radio:

“The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio

George, Andrew,  “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio

Radner, Karen, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio

Robson, Eleanor, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio






[1] Marc Van De Mieroop, ‘A Tale of Two Cities: Nineveh and Babylon”, Iraq, Vol 66. (2004), p.1
[3] Karen Radner, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[4] J.D.A. MacGinnis, ‘Ctesias and the Fall of Nineveh’, Illinois Classical Studies, Vol 13, No1, (1988), pp. 37-8
[5] Marc Van De Mieroop, ‘A Tale of Two Cities: Nineveh and Babylon”, Iraq, Vol 66. (2004), p.1
[6] Ibid, p.3
[7] Grant Frame  & A.R. George, “The Royal Libraries of Nineveh: New Evidence for King Ashurbanipal’s Tablet Collecting”, Iraq, Vol 67, No 1, (Spring, 2005), p.282
[8] Ibid, p.279
[9] “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[10] Grant Frame  & A.R. George, “The Royal Libraries of Nineveh: New Evidence for King Ashurbanipal’s Tablet Collecting”, Iraq, Vol 67, No 1, (Spring, 2005), pp.279-80
[11] Ibid, p.280
[12] Karen Radner, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[13] Andrew George, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[14] Grant Frame  & A.R. George, “The Royal Libraries of Nineveh: New Evidence for King Ashurbanipal’s Tablet Collecting”, Iraq, Vol 67, No 1, (Spring, 2005), p.282
[15] Ibid, p.282
[16] Ibid, p.277
[17] Eleanor Robson, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[18] Morris Jastow, Jr., “Did the Babylonian Temples have Libraries?”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol 27 (1906), p.147
[19] Karen Radner, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[20] Ibid
[21] Ibid
[22] Eleanor Robson, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[23] Karen Radner, “The Library at Nineveh”, In Our Time, BBC Radio 4, 15 May 2008, Radio
[24] Marc Van De Mieroop, ‘A Tale of Two Cities: Nineveh and Babylon”, Iraq, Vol 66. (2004), p. 3
[25] http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/all_current_projects/ashurbanipal_library_phase_1.aspx
[26] Michael J. Paulus, Jr., “Review: The Buried Book”, The American Archivist, Vol 71, No. 1 (Spring – Summer, 2008), p. 293

November 25, 2011

New Zealand: Summer Intensive course – Art Crime during Armed Conflict

Hamilton, New Zealand
Down in New Zealand, the University of Waikato’s Te Piringa-Faculty of Law and the University’s Centre for Continued Education have recently announced a forthcoming five-day summer intensive course, entitled “Art Crime during Armed Conflict”.

The course can be taken for credit by enrolled students (in which case, email eileens@waikato.ac.nz for enrolment details), or as a non-credit course by anybody – in this case, the course cost is a very reasonable NZ$215 (at current exchange rates, equal to about US$160, or €120). To enrol as a continuing education participant, go here or email nyree@waikato.ac.nz .

The Course will be taught over five days, from 13 – 17 February 2012 (which is high summer in the Southern Hemisphere!), on the campus of the University of Waikato at Hamilton, New Zealand. The city of Hamilton is situated in a verdant dairy farming region of New Zealand, known as the Waikato after the great river that flows through the province, (and amongst many other attractions is located within an easy 40 minute drive of the location for the filming of J R R Tolkein’s The Hobbit. Tours of the extensive, and fully rebuilt, Hobbiton film set can be arranged at http://www.hobbitontours.com/).

Judge Tompkins
The Course’s developer and presenter is Judge Arthur Tompkins. Judge Tompkins developed the course for ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies, offered each year at Amelia in Umbria, Italy, and has taught the course there in 2010 and 2011. He will be returning to teach the course again in 2012.

During the first two days the course covers about 2000 years of history, from the sack of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 through to art and cultural heritage crimes committed during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and very many instances of art and cultural heritage crime during times of war in between - including the Fourth Crusade, the Thirty Years' War, Napoleonic and Imperial France, and the First and Second World Wars.

On the third day, the course covers the fate of several famous libraries destroyed or displaced by war - including the Library at Alexandria, destroyed on several occasions starting with Julius Caesar's sending of fire ships into Alexandria Harbour in 48 BC, the removal of Library of the Palatinate (carried over the Alps from Heidelberg to the Vatican on the backs of 200 mules in the early 17th century), the destruction of the Library at Louvain in the First World War and likewise the devastation of National Library during the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s.


Waikato University
On the last two days the international and private law response to such crimes will be covered, beginning with Cicero's prosecution of Verres before the Roman Senate in 70 BC, through to Grotius' Laws of War, the Leiber Code, and on to the Hague Conventions of 1907 and 1954. The two main hurdles in the way of private claimants seeking to recover looted art - Limitation Periods and the differing responses to the bona fide purchaser - will round out the last day of the course.

Throughout the course, the lectures will consider numerous case studies, and the lectures are copiously illustrated by accompanying and extensive Powerpoint presentations. Copies of these will be distributed to all participants, along with a detailed Course Outline and Bibliography.

For more information, email eileens@waikato.ac.nz (for course-credit enquiries), or nyree@waikato.ac.nz (for non-credit enquiries).

December 7, 2010

Profile: ARCA Lecturer Judge Arthur Tompkins



ARCA is accepting applications for the 2011 Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies until January 3, 2011. ARCA's blog will be interviewing instructors in December and today spotlights a returning lecturer.

New Zealand Judge Arthur Tompkins’ relationship with ARCA began in 2009 when he travelled to Amelia for the first of a two-part presentation at the International Art Crime Conference to discuss the possible pathway to creating an International Art Crime Tribunal. Last summer, in addition to presenting the second part of his proposal for the Tribunal at ARCA’s annual conference, Judge Tompkins taught a course, Art in War, at ARCA’s Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies. He is returning to teach the same course again in Italy in July 2011.

Judge Tompkins has been a District Court Judge in New Zealand for nearly 14 years. His appointment as a Judge, in 1997, followed 10 years in private practice in Auckland as a commercial barrister. He gained his Bachelor’s degree in Law from Canterbury University, in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1983, and subsequently graduated Masters in Law, with First Class Honours, from Cambridge University, England, in 1984. He has taught the Law of Evidence, and presented at numerous conferences and workshops on a variety of topics, including expert evidence, the intersect between law and science in the Courtroom, and most extensively in relation to forensic DNA and forensic DNA Databanks, in New Zealand, China, England, Ireland, France and Mauritius. He is an Honorary Member of Interpol’s DNA Monitoring Expert Group.

ARCA blog: Judge Tompkins, welcome to ARCA’s blog. First, we’d like to start off with an easy question – what brings you away from your court in New Zealand to travel halfway around the world to teach Art in War to graduate students? It can’t all be about the pizza and gelato.
Judge Tompkins: The pizza and the gelato – and especially the latter – is certainly a part of it! How I came to be involved with ARCA is a serendipitous tale of chance meetings, leading to contact with Noah Charney in relation to the chapter that I wrote for the Art and Crime volume he edited. Then, when I visited Amelia in July 2009 for the Conference, Noah offered me the chance to return to Amelia to teach. I made a considered decision (it took me, I seem to recall, less than a second to decide!) to leap at the opportunity both to develop the course, and then to escape the New Zealand winter for the summer in Umbria amid the company of a wonderful group of enthusiastic staff and students.
But perhaps most importantly, the course I teach allows me to combine on a longstanding interest in history (from my distant youth I have three-quarters of a BA majoring in European History, which some day I might just get around to finishing) with the work I have done with Interpol and others concerning the cross-border operation of the criminal law, and my interest in the way, over the years, public international law has developed and matured. I am not an art historian, so I leave that side of things to others!

ARCA blog: Have there been any recent events in the past six months that have refined your concept of an International Art Crime Tribunal?

It is not so much something that has happened, as what has not happened. In my paper to the ARCA Conference in 2009, I talked about, in relation to confronting the many issues raised by art crime, there being islands of excellence amid a sea of indifference. And I think that is still accurate – there are many people in many different places doing great work, including of course ARCA. But realistically they are islands, and there are lots of bridges still to build between them. It is happening, slowly – the availability now on the internet of the Jeu de Paume records left behind by the ERR is one recent example – but I still believe that a single bright focus would bring numerous benefits, not least of which would be the continued development of the durable and lasting culture of interdisciplinary scholarship that ARCA has done so much to reinvigorate and foster.

ARCA blog: In your course, what are some of the areas that you focus on and what do you find the most challenging?

Part of the challenge for both me and the students is that, in the first two days of the course, we cover a little over 3000 years of history – starting with the taking of the Stele of Hammurabi following the sack of Babylon in 1160 BCE, right through to the looting of the Iraqi National Museum and Library in 2003. On the way we stop off at, among many other things, the Thirty Years’ War and, inevitably, both the Napoleonic era and the Second World War. Because I seek to examine, with the students, the various art crimes we look at in their historical context, it is often challenging to summarise major historical events in a very short time – World War I in two paragraphs, anyone? Inevitably, I have many favourite parts of the course, but a couple stand out as particularly interesting. The story of the carrying of a large part of the Palatine Library over the Alps in 1622, on the backs of 200 mules who each wore a silver collar inscribed in Latin is an evocative image. The Vatican Library was closed for renovations this year, but next year I will arrange a reader’s pass to visit and, I hope, inspect some of the volumes, most of which are still in Rome. The astounding heroism of Rose Valland, who worked at the Jeu de Paume on behalf of the French Resistance for four tumultuous years during World War II, recording and identifying the numerous looted art shipments to Germany, to ensure that the Resistance did not inadvertently blow the trains up is a remarkable tale of sustained courage. And, in the second half of the course, presenting the sometimes complex subject of the public international law of treaties and the like presents its own challenges! Using actual examples, like the shelling of Dubrovnik by the Yugoslavian forces and the prosecution and conviction of two senior officers in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, helps bring the international criminal law to life in a real and tangible way – especially as Dubrovnik is not all that far from Italy, just across the Adriatic Sea.