Showing posts with label Edgar Tijhuis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edgar Tijhuis. Show all posts

February 1, 2019

Christos Tsirogiannis returns to Amelia to this summer to teach "Unravelling the Hidden Market of Illicit Antiquities: Lessons from Greece and Italy” at ARCA's Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection

By Edgar Tijhuis

This year, the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection will be held from May 30 through August 14 2019, in the heart of Umbria in Amelia, Italy. In the months leading up to the start of the program, this year’s professors will be interviewed. In this one, I am speaking with Christos Tsirogiannis, one of the world’s few forensic archaeologists.

Can you tell us something about your background and work?

 I studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens, then worked for several years at the Greek Ministry of Culture in various sectors including excavations as well as in the repatriations of stolen antiquities from US museums and private collections. I also worked for several years on a voluntary basis with the Greek police art squad. In late 2008 I was invited to Cambridge University to start my PhD on the international illicit antiquities network, which I completed in 2013. Since then, I have developed and broadened my research on antiquities trafficking networks through a postdoc position at the University of Glasgow, an honorary position at Suffolk, and most recently as visiting Associate Professor at the University of Aarhus.

My specialism is best described as a new form of 'forensic archaeology'; rather than excavating and analysing (e.g.) human remains, I carry out forensic-level analyses of archaeological objects and of photographic and documentary archives (from antiquities dealers) of modern trades in archaeological material to determine their true provenance.  From these I am able to reconstruct objects' collecting histories also from traces found e.g. online and in publication records. 

In carrying out this work I assist police and judicial authorities in many countries around the world regarding cases of antiquities trafficking.   Often in these I find a certain hypocrisy in the art market - which claims 'client confidentiality' - as the motive for not revealing the names of sellers and buyers, but which in many cases also serves as a cover up, off the names of convicted traffickers whose hands objects an object may have passed through, omitting problematic aspects of the collecting history in presenting objects for sale, all the while claiming to have done 'due diligence'.

What do you feel is the most relevant of your courses?

I introducee ARCA participants to a range of issues in the international illicit antiquities market, highlighting due diligence, legal aspects and challenges in provenance research. The course has profound ethical and practical implications for anyone dealing with the art market in any capacity.

What do you hope participants will get out of the courses?

Primarily, inspiration. To work in the cultural heritage sector, but, with that, an understanding of the hypocrisy within the art market, academia and state authorities in dealing with the trafficking of our heritage, and (consequently) a sense of ethical responsibility when entering this field.

What would a typical day be like in your classroom?

Each teaching day contains two interactive lectures in which, through case studies, I focus on a particular area of the international illicit antiquities market. There are plenty of visuals and opportunities for participant research and participation (in fact this is a part of their final grade).

While each year participants are very enthusiastic about your courses, is there anything you learn from them in class?

Every professor needs the fresh view of younger minds who come with straightforward questions which often highlight an aspect or a sector that has not previously been thoroughly examined in the scholarship. Several times, those ARCA participants have gone on to produce valuable academic contributions to this emerging interdisciplinary field. My course also attracts people who have prior professional experience in the antiquities market, as well as lawyers, policemen, artists and museum professionals.


In anticipation of your courses, what book, article, or movie would you recommend to students? 

Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini (2007, 2nd edition) The Medici Conspiracy -the 'bible of the field'.


What makes the yearly ARCA program so unique?

It is the only postgraduate residential course that covers all aspects of art crimes with courses taught by experts in their field. Amelia is a very special setting - I myself look forward every year to the ten days I spend there,

Which other course in the program would you love to follow yourself and why?

Fake terracotta shabti-mould.
Image Credit: British Museum
I would have to prioritize the course taught by ARCA's founder, Noah Charney, because one aspect of my own research is forgeries in the antiquities market and in collections.

Is there anything you can recommend for future participants to do in Amelia or Umbria?

I have greatly enjoyed trips to the amazing setting of Civita di Bagnoregio and to the Etruscan cemetery of Orvieto, from where I have identified stolen antiquities... but Amelia itself has many hidden ancient and medieval gems as well as amazing pizza places (and ice-cream, says my wife)!

Are there any funny or interesting things you experienced in Italy, outside of class 

In my first teaching year we accompanied the students on the excursion to Banditaccia, the Etruscan Necropolis in Cerveteri, and every year we spend time in Rome each side of my ARCA course. Rome is a museum in itself and I have dear friends and colleagues there - Maurizio Pellegrini, Daniela Rizzo, Paolo Georgio Ferri and Cecilia Todeschini, who are all my heroes in my research area and now feel like family.

What is your experience with the yearly ARCA conference in June

I attended it first in 2013 as I was awarded ARCA's prize for Art Protection and Security. Since then the conference has doubled in size and become a world-leading innovator in facilitating important discussions between academics and practitioners in the protection of cultural heritage. Both the courses and the conference owe their current impact and unique international reach to the amazing work of Lynda Albertson (ARCA CEO).

For a detailed prospectus and application materials or for general questions about this postgraduate program please contact us at: 

education@artcrimeresearch.org

Edgar Tijhuis serves as the Academic Director at ARCA and is a visiting scholar at the Institute of Criminology in Ljubljana. He is responsible for the postgraduate certificate program in the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection and since 2009, has taught criminology modules within the ARCA program.

January 18, 2019

Dick Ellis returns to Amelia this summer to teach “The High Stakes World of Art Policing, Protection and Investigation” at ARCA's Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection

By Edgar Tijhuis

In 2019, the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection will be held from May 30 through August 14, in the heart of Umbria in Amelia, Italy. In the months leading up to the start of the program, this year’s professors will be interviewed. In this one, I am speaking with Dick Ellis.



Can you tell us something about your background?

I served as a detective in London for 30 years and re-formed the art and antiques squad within the Organised Crime Group at New Scotland Yard. I spent over ten years investigating art crime on an international level and carried out investigations in many different countries including Egypt, China and the USA. These investigations included running covert operations such as that which recovered "The Scream" in 1994 as well as seizing and returning over over 6,000 antiquities to China and disrupting an entire trafficking group in Egypt, the UK and USA. Since my retirement from the police I have continued to work in the same field, operating on behalf of the private sector. This has resulted in some important recoveries such as two paintings by Picasso stolen in Switzerland whilst on loan from a German museum, which I recovered in Serbia and an important work by Lempicka stolen in The Netherlands in 2009, which I recovered in Amsterdam in 2016. This picture was sold for a world record price at auction in New York in November 2018.

 What do you feel is the most relevant aspect of your course?

I always think that the presentations on Why Steal Art and Who Steals Art are perhaps the most important, but I am always surprised that the participants find "The Rules of the Game" lecture, setting out the effect that jurisdiction and differing legal systems have on an investigation to be really interesting.

The Scream - recovered in 1994

What do you hope participants will get out of the courses? 

I hope that the participants will get a real understanding not only of how law enforcement operate in the field of art crime but also who and why art is targeted in the first place. Most importantly though I hope they will see that there are opportunities within the private sector to impact on art crime and that you do not have to join a police force to work in this field.

What would a typical day be like in your classroom? 

Every day starts with the opportunity to discuss what we have already learnt and to answer any questions that the participants may wish to ask resulting from the previous day's lectures. I will then begin lecturing from my schedule but encourage questions to be asked during the lectures so that we can have a real dialogue going about the topic. This interaction with the participants is important as I believe it keeps them interested in the topic and their participations are something that I both encourage and mark them on.

While each year the participants in ARCA’s program are very enthusiastic about your courses, is there anything you learn from them in class? 

I constantly learn from the participants as a result of the interaction in class and from the presentations that they give at the end of my course on an art crime investigation of their choice. I learn about crimes I may not previously have heard about, changes in law and procedures from the participants own countries and the increasing use of technologies that are constantly being developed.

In anticipation of your courses, what book, article, or movie would you recommend to participants?

Most movies provide an entertaining story around art crimes so I do not recommend any to the participants, besides I am not much of a film buff, but I still think that "The Irish Game" by Matthew Hart is an important book about art crime. It focuses on perhaps the most thoroughly investigated series of art crimes from which it is possible to analyse the who, why and what went wrong of art theft. The Medici Conspiracy is of course also a must read in respect of antiquities theft whilst books such as "A Forgers Tale" by Shaun Greenhalgh provide an interesting insight into the world of forgery.

The Medici Conspiracy

Uniqueness of Course 

For me each new group of participants provides me with the opportunity to learn from them and to hear about developments or issues from their own part of the world. For the participant I think my course offers a unique and in depth view of art crime and its investigation from one of the most experienced practitioners in the field, who has worked internationally both in law enforcement and in the private sector. When considering this point in the context of the whole ARCA course, I can not think where else this level of experience and expertise can be found in one place on a single course.

Which other course in the program would you love to follow yourself and why?

Hard to pick one but I think I would like to follow Dick Drent's security course. Apart from being highly relevant to my own work the participants always really enjoy the course and visiting a museum to check out their security sounds like fun.

What to do in Amelia and Italy?

I would encourage every participants to throw themselves into the unique opportunities that present themselves in Amelia and the surrounding towns and cities during the summer months. The medieval festivals are fantastic and welcome participant participation and are a great way to meet and be accepted by the locals. I have attended music festivals, and feasts throughout Umbria and the wine is one of Italy's hidden treasures. This is all in addition to visiting as many of the sites as possible be they archaeological, religious or architectural. Italy has a lot to offer and I would recommend that participants embrace it as broadly as they are able.

Are there any interesting things you experienced in Italy, outside class? 

A personal favourite and recent discovery of my own is the Museum of Wine at Torgiano - with a tasting room next door!

Inside the Museum of Wine at Torgiano

What is your experience with the yearly ARCA conference in June? 

The conference is now on the calendar for an increasing number of international experts and specialist lawyers. It goes from strength to strength (thanks to everyone affiliated with ARCA's efforts) and provides both a forum for current topics and a great centre for networking.

What else?

ARCA's having provided modules in the UNESCO training programme in Beirut in 2018 it is clear sign that we have an increasingly important role to play in providing training and expertise to allied professionals that is relevant to the field of cultural heritage protection, especially to those working in countries affected by war and conflict who have important concerns as it relates to the trafficking of cultural heritage. We have recently signed a consultative agreement with the British Museum to provide this type of training in tandem with the development of their new antiquities in circulation database. I think this is in recognition of the increasing role that ARCA and its participants have gone on to play in this field of expertise.

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For a detailed prospectus and application materials or for general questions about this postgraduate program please contact us at education@artcrimeresearch.org

Edgar Tijhuis at the ARCA Library

Edgar Tijhuis is Academic Director at ARCA and visiting scholar at the Institute of Criminology in Ljubljana. He is responsible for the postgraduate certificate program in the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection. Since 2009, Edgar Tijhuis has taught criminology modules within the ARCA program.

February 11, 2014

A.J.G. "Edgar" Tijhuis Returns to Amelia to Teach "Transnational Organized Crime and Art'

Edgar Tijhuis, lawyer and assistant-professor of Criminology at the VU University in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, will return to Amelia for the sixth year to teach “Transnational Organized Crime and Art” (June 16-20) for ARCA’s Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection Studies.

Tijhuis, the author of Transnational Crime and the Interface between Legal and Illegal Actors – The Case of the Illicit Art and Antiquities Trade (Nijmegen, Wolf Legal Publishers, 2006), published a chapter in Art & Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World (Praeger, 2009), “Who Is Stealing All Those Paintings?” He is also associated with the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement in Amsterdam.

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

The current literature on art crime gives us some idea of art crimes that are committed all over the world. However, it is far less clear who is involved and how these crimes are organized. In this course we will look at art crime from a criminological perspective and focus on these issues. What kind of people are actually involved in specific types of art crime: organized crime, insiders, petty thieves, quaint characters, terrorists or all of them? And how can we explain their involvement in these crimes? Criminological theories and models help to answer these questions. This approach makes the course very relevant as it tries to fill the gap that is left between research from lawyers, archaeologists and others. Finally, trying to figure out who is involved and why, helps to define criteria for the most fruitful policies to deal with the problem of art crime.

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

A good starter would be "The Medici Conspiracy" by Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini. This landmark study touches upon many very important issues that we will deal with in this course.

Please give us a snapshot of a day in your classroom about what students might learn on a given day.  

Students will learn about a wide array of topics. Among other things, students will get a crash course of criminological theories spanning over 200 years and apply these theories to cases of art crime. We will dive into the world of transnational crime, from the trade in blood diamonds to arms trafficking and terrorism. And we will look at the process of "laundering" hot art and integrating it in the legitimate market.

What is your current area of focus as related to art crime?

At VU University I'm supervising a Phd study by Ruth Godthelp. She is analysing the nature of art crimes in the Netherlands. She is also a member of the heavy crimes (or serious and organised crime) unit of the Amsterdam Police Department (where she's combatting art crimes on a daily basis) and has built a unique database of over 4000 art crimes. Furthermore, I'm working with Jasper van der Kemp, who is specialising in profiling) We search for ways to profile art crimes, both big museum thefts as well as series of thefts from churches, libraries etc. Finally, I'm working on a book on histories of transnational crime, which will include an overview of over 2000 years of art crimes by Noah Charney.

February 3, 2011

Profile: ARCA Lecturer Edgar Tijhuis on Transnational Crime, Organized Crime and Illicit Art and Antiquities


by Catherine Schofield Sezgin

Edgar Tijhuis, lawyer and assistant-professor of Criminology at the VU University in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, will return to Amelia for the third year to teach “Criminology, Art, and Transnational Organized Crime” for ARCA’s Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Property Protection Studies.

Tijhuis, the author of Transnational Crime and the Interface between Legal and Illegal Actors – The Case of the Illicit Art and Antiquities Trade (Nijmegen, Wolf Legal Publishers, 2006), published a chapter in Art & Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World (Praeger, 2009), “Who Is Stealing All Those Paintings?” He is also associated with the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement in Amsterdam.

ARCA blog: Professor Tijhuis, your essay in Art & Crime makes the point, as Noah Charney wrote in a long footnote, “that most experts are going on hearsay from police about Organized Crime and art crime, with relatively little empirical data and evidence beyond the word of police, undercover agents, and criminals.” Since publishing this article in 2009, do you think that anything had changed? Have you seen any data that would support the level of activity of Organized Crime in the illicit and antiquities trade?
Professor Tijhuis: It is difficult to answer this question briefly. To be sure, I did not mean to say that “organized crime” is not involved in crimes related to art. The point is that general claims of this involvement do not seem to be based on firm empirical data. In fact, “art crime” consists of all kinds of rather different types of (criminal) activity, in uncountable places around the world. With some specific types of art crime, one can clearly see an “organized” character, with others there does not seem to be any organization at all and with many we simply do not know or we see all kind of different ways of organizing these crimes. To make it even more complex, an ongoing debate among criminologists focuses on the whole concept of “organized crime”. Do we actually focus on actors (organizations) or activities?
At this moment different studies try to shed light on these topics. Among others, Noah Charney and myself are involved in these studies and I hope they will enhance our knowledge.
ARCA blog: As a practical point, do you think that Organized Crime uses stolen art and antiquities in part of the trade on illegal drug and arms activities? Are you aware of any data that ties stolen art or antiquities to any other illegal activities supported by Organized Crime networks?
Professor Tijhuis: Again, we are dealing with a rather broad category of crimes that take place all around the world. I am not aware of data that systematically connects art crimes with other illegal activities. However, one can find examples of connections with other crimes in specific places around the world.
ARCA blog: What is the difference between transnational crime and Organized Crime and how does this influence the way you teach your course for ARCA?
Professor Tijhuis: First of all, transnational crime clearly involves cross-border types of crime. At the same time, it does not necessarily involve all kind of criminal organizations but may involve individuals or constantly changing networks of people involved in specific crimes. The different terms are related to the different perspectives on crime that were mentioned earlier. When one takes actors as the starting point of studies, one will use the terms “organized crime” or “transnational organized crime”. Transnational crime, on the contrary, is sometimes used when one takes (illicit) activities as starting point.
ARCA blog: What is your current area of focus as related to art crime?
Professor Tijhuis: Currently I'm looking at several specific topics. One of them is “profiling”. We look at ways to profile art crimes, either geographically or psychological. Furthermore, together with Noah Charney, I am working on an article on Organized Crime and Art Crime, which should help to clarify things for readers and students alike, and which will combine our two approaches. We very much enjoy working together, and this is the first of what we hope will be several collaborative future projects.
ARCA blog: Will you be doing anything differently in your class this year?
Professor Tijhuis: Each year I try to add new elements and change the material. This year will probably have somewhat less purely criminological theory and more theory on organized crime and white- collar crime. Furthermore, recent literature and cases always provide wonderful new material.