Showing posts with label Ralph Frammolino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ralph Frammolino. Show all posts

August 16, 2012

Q&A with Ralph Frammolino and Jason Felch

Editor-in-Chief Noah Charney features "Q&A with Ralph Frammolino and Jason Felch" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.


Ralph Frammolino, along with Jason Felch, is the co-winner of the 2012 Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship. The award was granted both for Frammolino and Felch’s outstanding journalistic work, and the book that resulted from it, Chasing Aphrodite, about the Getty antiquities scandal and Marion True. To learn more about the award winners, please see the awards section in this issue. Ralph responded to some questions on his own behalf, and on behalf of Jason Felch.

Noah Charney: What is the origin of your interest in the protection of antiquities?
Ralph Frammolino: Prior to Chasing Aphrodite, I was among the blissfully ignorant art-loving masses who regarded museums with a sort of hushed awe while delighting in their inspiring displays of ancient pieces. I accepted without question the good intention of curators, academics and museum officials, never giving a thought to the back story of how they obtained their trove of Greek and Roman pieces (my favorites). Then, as an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, I had the rare opportunity to examine this world through a different prism. Jason and others at the paper had just finished an investigation into the finances of the Getty Trust, the richest art institution in the world. The editors at the LA Times teamed me up with Jason to look at problems with the antiquities collection, a move that happened about the time a Roman court indicted Getty antiquities curator Marion True for trafficking in looted artifacts. What we found was shocking, the equivalent of steroids in baseball and pedophile priests in the Catholic Church. The museum world had its own dirty little secret – that it was feasting on the fruits of an illegal trade – and justifying it through sham acquisition policies, temporized denials and archly worded statements about serving posterity. To me, the protection of antiquities became a proxy for cultural colonialism. While I would like to think that the Getty scandal marked a change, I’m no longer sure. In my mind, the Getty’s selection of James Cuno as CEO and Timothy Potts as Museum Director – two openly avowed collecting hawks – marks a giant step backward from the enlightened, culturally sensitive stance the Getty adopted after it was caught with looted masterpieces. Now Cuno and Potts say they want to start to aggressively acquire Middle Eastern antiquities – coincidentally as war, terrorism and regime change have triggered wholesale looting of such artifacts, which will no doubt start bobbing up through the market in the coming years.
You may read this interview in The Journal of Art Crime by subscribing through ARCA's website.

April 11, 2012

"Chasing Aphrodite" Authors Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino Win 2012 Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship

ARCA (the Association for Research into Crimes against Art) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual awards for the year 2012. ARCA is an international research group that promotes the study of art crime cultural heritage protection, registered as a 501c3 in the United States and an Associazione Culturale in Italy.

ARCA presents four annual awards.  Nominations are made by ARCA staff, trustees, and members of the editorial board of ARCA’s peer-reviewed publication, The Journal of Art Crime.  The winners are decided by a vote of the trustees, and are presented at ARCA’s annual conference, held in Amelia, Italy on June 23 and 24 of this year. For more information about ARCA or to attend its annual conference, please contact Lynda Albertson: lynda.albertson (at) artcrimeresearch.org.

Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship
Past winners:  Norman Palmer (2009), Larry Rothfield (2010), Neil Brodie (2011)
Shortlisted nominees: Fabio Isman, Sandy Nairne
2012 joint winners: Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino

Mr. Felch and Mr. Frammolino are award-winning investigative journalists with the Los Angeles Times newspaper, and co-authors of a book based on their columns, entitled Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum (2011).

Jason Felch is an award winning investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times. In 2006 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for exposing the role of the J. Paul Getty Museum and other American museums in the black market for looted antiquities. His work has also been honored by the National Journalism Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the NationalAssociation of Science Writers and others. Prior to joining the LA Times in 2004, Jason was a fellow at the Center for Investigative Reporting and a freelance writer on topics such as money laundering, arms trafficking and drilling for natural gas in the Peruvian rainforest.

Ralph Frammolino is a veteran journalist who worked at American newspapers for 30 years. He spent 25 of those at the Los Angeles Times, where he covered a variety of beats but mostly concentrated in investigative projects for the Metro staff. His work has been honored by the Associated Press of Texas, Dartmouth University Business School and the Los Angeles Press Club. He was part of the staff effort that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for the coverage of the Northridge Earthquake, and was a co-finalist for a Pulitzer in 2006 for his coverage of the J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities scandal. Since leaving the LA Times in 2008, Mr. Frammolino has been working in South Asia as a teacher, journalism trainer and media development consultant with USAID, the World Bank and other foreign aid donors. He continues to freelance and his stories have appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, LA Times, Columbia Journalism Review and, most recently, Smithsonian Magazine.

Felch and Frammolino are jointly awarded for their outstanding research and scholarship that informed both their investigative articles for the Los Angeles Times and their book, Chasing Aphrodite.