Showing posts with label Spring 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spring 2014. Show all posts

June 7, 2014

Marc Balcells reviews Robert Bevan's "The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War" in the Spring 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Marc Balcells, a criminologist and an associate editor for The Journal of Art Crime, reviews Robert Bevan's 2006 book, The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War (Reaktion Books) in the Spring 2014 issue:
I was drawn to Robert Bevan’s book after conducting a literature review for an article I was working on. After reading the sections I was interested in, I left the book nearby, as I was eager to read the entirety of its contents the sooner the better. Bevan, former editor of the magazine Building design, chronicles and deeply analyzes along the 240 pages of the book (divided in seven chapters) several cases of architectonical destruction and how it has an impact in obliterating not only an ethnic group but also what they represent. 
Chapter one sets the tone for the chapters that follow: in an introductory, broader approach if compared to the rest of the chapters, which are more specific and deal with particular issues of cultural heritage destruction, the author explains how architecture achieves a totemic status with a meaning that needs to be destroyed in order to ensure the eradication of a particular ethnic group. It is interesting to see how the author delineates the history of architectonical destruction, and for the readers interested in the legislation related to destruction of cultural heritage, it is also briefly described in this chapter. 
Chapter two talks about cultural cleansing: the author looks for similarities and differences between kristallnacht and the beginning of the treatment of the Jewish by the Nazi regime, and the Balkan wars. The genocide of the Armenians, another important one of the twentieth century, is explained in order to highlight the need not only to eradicate the individuals but also its collective memory and identity.
You may finish reading this review in the Spring 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime by subscribing through the website or ordering a printed copy through Amazon.com.

June 6, 2014

Noah Charney Interviews Three Leading Art Lawyers: Ian de Freitas, Howard Spiegler and Fabio Moretti in the Spring 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime

by Noah Charney

The Journal of Art Crime had the pleasure of interviewing three leading art lawyers, Ian de Freitas, Howard Spiegler, and Fabio Moretti. We spoke of art law, forgery, intellectual property, and fashion law, with each responding to questions related to their personal specializations. Ian de Freitas practices in the UK with Berwin Leighton Paisner and specializes in intellectual properties law. Howard Spiegler practices in the US with Herrick, Feinstein and is an expert in art reparations and repatriation, particularly with regard to art that changed hands during the Second World War and its aftermath. Fabio Moretti practices in Italy with Moretti & Burgio, and is an expert in fashion law. All three will be speaking at the UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats) conference held in Florence, Italy on October 31, 2014, a conference in which ARCA representatives will be participating.

Noah Charney: I like to give my students a puzzle, Howard. Whose culture heritage is a Titian painting of a Habsburg prince that hangs in Madrid? It might be claimed by Spain, Italy, Venice (which likes to think of itself as a different state, and was when Titian was around), or even Austria or Switzerland (where the Habsburgs originated). In legal terms, it is the property of the last legal owner, but in the moral debate of whose “cultural heritage” it is, how do you deal with the situation when multiple nations can claim a single work?

Howard Spiegler: I like to say that as an attorney, my job is relatively straightforward: I just have to deal with the law and not the often complex policies and moral issues that may pertain to these kinds of questions. In general, if the country from which the work has been illegally expropriated has a so-called patrimony law providing for ownership by that country’s government of every antiquity found in or on the ground, and the effective date of that law is prior to the time that the antiquity was expropriated, then the US courts will permit the foreign government to sue in the United States to recover it, subject to defenses like the statute of limitations. If I were to venture into the moral realm, it would be difficult for me not to favor the return of items to a country from which it was expropriated without permission, but if such a position is not viable under the existing law, I would encourage negotiation to ensure a mutually acceptable resolution. This might involve, for example, a confirmation by the possessor that the antiquity is rightfully owned by the source nation, but could provide for a long-term loan of the item, perhaps in return for similar loans to the country involved, especially if the possessor is a museum. As far as multiple nations claiming the same antiquity, when this has occurred in a U.S. litigation, the jury essentially decided that none of the countries involved were able to establish that the antiquity involved had been illegally excavated from one rather than another of the countries, and ruled in favor of the possessor, even though it was clear that it must have come from one of these lands. Proving that the illegal excavation took place in a particular country is often one of the hardest elements of the plaintiff’s case in these actions, mainly because ancient boundaries of nation-states do not necessarily correspond to the current boundaries of modern nations. 

NC: The Internet Age has seen a lot of lawsuits dealing with art looted during the world wars, because all of a sudden families could locate online the works lost to their families decades prior. Before the digitalization of museum collections, it was a lot harder to know where your art might be, if you didn’t just stumble on it. We hear a lot about the restitution of Nazi-looted art, but very little about art looted by the Red Army. Why is that?

HS: Actually, there have been claims brought against Russia with respect to artworks taken during the War, but in general, Russia subscribes to the concept that anything taken from Germany during and after the War represents just compensation for the enormous losses of life and property suffered by Russia during the War. This concept is not in accord with usual precepts of international law, however, and obviously makes it more difficult to resolve these claims. In one case, currently pending in the U.S., the Jewish religious sect Chabad brought an action to compel Russia to turn over archives and a library to Chabad, allegedly misappropriated by Russia or its predecessor governments. After losing a motion to dismiss, Russia remarkably refused to participate in the lawsuit any further, and the court imposed a default judgment against it. Attempts to enforce the judgment, including with sanctions levied against Russia, have been met with resistance from the U.S. government and have yet to be resolved.

You may finish reading this interview in the Spring 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime by subscribing through the ARCA website or ordering an issue through Amazon.com.

Noah Charney is a professor of art history specializing in art crime and an international best-selling author of fiction (The Art Thief) and non-fiction (Stealing the Mystic Lamb). He teaches for American University of Rome and Brown University, and is an award-winning columnist for a variety of popular magazines and newspapers. He is the founder of ARCA, and has served as its president since its inception.

June 3, 2014

Kirsten Hower reviews Rick Gekoski's book "Lost, Stolen or Shredded: Stories of Missing Works of Art and Literature" in the Spring 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Rare book dealer Rick Gekoski's published his book on loss in art and literature with Profile Books in 2013. Kirsten Hower, ARCA's Social Networking Correspondent and List-Serve Manager, begins her review:
It starts with the theft of a mysterious smile and ends with the unbuilt architectural wonders of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Rick Gekoski, a rare book dealer and writer, brings together the worlds of art and literature to explore their hidden pasts. Often kept separate when discussing the arts—the exception being illuminated manuscripts—in his book Gekoski groups them together in considering their dark and hidden pasts. There is, understandably, a bias towards literature in the text, but not enough to detract from the tales concerned with works of art. 
“I am anxious about the destruction of the historical record. We live, understand and accumulate a sense of ourselves as a culture through the preservation of the pieces of paper that record what we truly are, and have been.” (p 120) 
Rather than taking a purely academic and stiff approach to recounting the tales of his chosen works of both art and literature, Gekoski instead takes the more passionate and narrative approach of a storyteller chronicling his favourite stories. In this way, Gekoski’s book acts more like an anthology of crime stories rather than a diatribe concerning art crime. The story of each work of art and literature, ranging from the nearly infamous theft of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa by Vincenzo Perugia in 1911 to the almost non-existent poem Et Tu, Healy by a very young James Joyce, is told with the detail, suspense, and passion of a novel. Gekoski’s attention to detail and ability to bring each tale to life makes his book an easy and enjoyable read for readers with or without a background in art or literary crime. 
An additional intrigue to this book is Gekoski’s ability to look at the loss of literary works from the perspective of a book lover who is saddened by the cultural loss as well as the rare book dealer who can see the monetary loss of each work. This intriguing dual perspective adds an interesting twist to narratives that could have instead been dripping in patronizing rhetoric; instead, Gekoski’s narration brings both a practical and intimate nature to the tales he recounts. Each of the crimes he recounts carry both of these tones and draw the reader further into the tale.
You may continue reading this review in The Journal of Art Crime by either subscribing through ARCA's website or ordering it through Amazon.com.

June 2, 2014

Marc Balcells reviews "Lost Lives, Lost Art" by Melissa Müller and Monika Tatzkow in the Spring 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime

Marc Balcells reviews Lost Lives, Lost Art (Vendome 2010) by Melissa Müller and Monika Tatzkow in the Spring 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime:
The phenomenon “Monuments Men” has passed, at least cinematographically: it looks like the dust raised by the ‘in favor’ and ‘against’ factions has settled. Yet the topic of WWII restitutions is far from being settled: the Gurlitt trove and the multiple apartments holding a cache of looted art, which unfolded at the same time as the “Monuments Men” momentum, really showed how open and unsolved this issue is. All these cases made me revisit some of the books that I own on the topic, and my attention wandered to Lost Lives, Lost Art by Melissa Müller and Monika Tatzkow. 
This non-fiction book follows a coffee table format: bigger than a regular book, hardcover, glossy pages and profusely illustrated. The book’s main theme is to chronicle the lives of fifteen prominent Jewish art collectors and how their collections got dispersed during the ascent to power of the Nazi party, and during the war. However, the book does not stop here and depicts the fate of the works of art and the current owners of the pieces: as the reader can imagine, in most of the cases, the art never went back to their owners, and it the object of many legal cases. In that sense, the book has a similar vibe to Hector Feliciano’s The Lost Museum (1995), which one of its parts revolves around five particular cases (the Rothschild collection, the gallery of Paul Rosenberg, the Bernheim-Jeune collection, the David David-Weill collection and the Schloss collection).
You may finish reading this review in the Spring 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime by subscribing to it here or ordering it on Amazon.com.

May 31, 2014

Joris Kila's "Mission Report: Civil-Military Assessment Mission for Malian Heritage" Published in the Spring 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime

Joris Kila is a researcher at the Kompetenzzentrum Kulturelles Erbe und Kulturgüterschutz of the University of Vienna in Austria. He has been acting chairman of the cultural affairs department at the Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) Group North in the Netherlands, and in that capacity he undertook several cultural rescue missions in Iraq and FYROM (Macedonia). He is Editor in Chief of the Peer Reviewed series Heritage and Identity at Brill Academic Publishers (Leiden-Boston) and author and co-author of many academic publications on the subject of cultural property protection in times of armed conflict utilizing militarized experts. He holds degrees in Art history and Classical Archaeology and a PhD in Cultural Sciences. He is a reserve Lieutenant Colonel and is regularly asked to advice on Cultural Property Protection issues.

Dr. Kila published the Mission Report on Civil-Military Assessment Mission for Malian Heritage. This is how he describes the mission's objective:
The objective of the mission was to evaluate the current situation of Cultural Heritage (including monuments, archaeological and historical sites and archives) in Northern Mali after the recent armed conflict. Especially possibilities to establish contacts with the Malian Armed Forces resulting in support for their eventual endeavors to help protecting Cultural Heritage following international legal obligations had to be assessed. The latter should preferably lead to military participation in a, yet to be created, National committee of the Blue Shield in Mali. 
Different accounts and statements regarding iconoclasm, looting and vandalism were published regarding locations in Northern and Central Mali that were, until recently under control of Jihadist forces. Sometimes such reports were contradictive and vague therefore it was necessary to send a mission, especially to those sites that were reportedly affected by both criminal and supposedly military ‘’justified’’ acts. Aim was to document the situation, to state damages incurred and to encourage and motivate the parties involved, especially the Armed Forces of Mali, to further efforts to protect the invaluable Cultural Heritage of Mali. 
The team took advantage of their former experiences during Civil-Military Assessment Missions on the status of Egyptian and Libyan Heritage. 
The objectives of the Malian mission went beyond mere damage assessment. Considered were also typical post war problems such as illegal digging, looting and illicit traffic of cultural property. An international, timely and independent fact finding mission generally provides support on a wide (international) level while at the same time giving perspectives, at least for the mid-term. In addition signs of international concern and solidarity can encourage those Malians who protected their heritage under difficult and dangerous conditions during the recent occupation. It was of vital importance to make contacts, or stay in contact with those, currently responsible for Mali's heritage, especially in the Armed Forces. This way it will be possible to assist with raising awareness on the protection of cultural property while stimulating potential international professional support to be offered and also discuss issues on a personal and direct level.
You may finish reading this column in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue (#11) of The Journal of Art Crime edited by ARCA founder Noah Charney. The Journal of Art Crime may be accessed through subscription or in paperback from Amazon.com. The Table of Contents is listed on ARCA's website here. The Associate Editors are Marc Balcells (John Jay College of Law) and Christos Tsirogiannis (University of Cambridge). Design and layout (including the front cover illustration) are produced by Urška Charney.

Noah Charney on "The British Origin of the Monuments Men" in "Lessons from the History of Art Crime" in the Spring 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime

Noah Charney is a professor of art history specializing in art crime and an international best-selling author of fiction (The Art Thief) and non-fiction (Stealing the Mystic Lamb). He teaches for American University of Rome and Brown University, and is an award-winning columnist for a variety of popular magazines and newspapers. He is the founder of ARCA, and has served as its president since its inception. In his column "Lessons from the History of Art Crime", Noah Charney writes about “The British Origin of the Monuments Men”: 
This winter, when George Clooney’s drama comes out about the Monuments Men and their adventures in saving Europe’s art treasures during the Second World War, viewers will be privy to a Hollywoodization of a true, dramatic, epic story of the race to rescue an estimated five million cultural heritage objects, from paintings and sculptures to rare books and valuable archival materials, that were looted by the Nazis and risked complete destruction. The Clooney film is only loosely based on historical fact—it necessarily compresses, condenses, and alters reality to fit the rules of a Hollywood feature. But one aspect of the Monuments Men that most American accounts skip past or exclude altogether is the fact that the Monuments Men began as a British operation—its spearhead was a most British brand of hero, Sir Leonard Woolley. 
The Monuments Men was the nickname of a group of some three-hundred Allied officers, members of the art world during their civilian lives (architects, conservators, archaeologists, art historians), who were charged with identifying art and monuments that might be in the line of fighting in Europe during the Second World War. Once these works, from Notre Dame Cathedral to the entire contents of the Uffizi, were identified, the officers would advise the Allied armies they accompanied on how, whenever possible, to avoid damage to these cultural monuments. That part of their call of duty was the British plan. But their role changed in practice, once the officers were in the field and it became clear, only late in the war, that there was an enormous, proactive art-looting plan that the Nazis had put into operation, led by their art theft unit, the ERR, and intended to both enrich the Nazi war effort and fill Hitler’s planned “super museum” that would occupy the entirety of his boyhood town of Linz, Austria, which would contain every important artwork in the world. Once in the field, as an under-appreciated and under-supported twig attached to the massive Allied armies, the Monuments Men began to act as war-time art detectives, seeking out key stolen works, piecing together clues as to the overall Nazi art theft plan, and eventually rescuing tens of thousands of looted masterpieces, including van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb and Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna—the twin focal points of the Clooney film.
You may finish reading this column in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue (#11) of The Journal of Art Crime edited by ARCA founder Noah Charney. The Journal of Art Crime may be accessed through subscription or in paperback from Amazon.com. The Table of Contents is listed on ARCA's website here. The Associate Editors are Marc Balcells (John Jay College of Law) and Christos Tsirogiannis (University of Cambridge). Design and layout (including the front cover illustration) are produced by Urška Charney.

May 29, 2014

Marc Balcells on "The Case of the Muñoz Ramonet Legacy (Barcelona, Spain)" in his column "Not in the Headlines" in the Spring 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime

Spanish criminologist Marc Balcells holds degrees in Law, Criminology and Human Sciences, and masters both in Criminal Law, and the ARCA Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. A Fulbright scholar, he is currently completing his PhD in Criminal Justice at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research revolves around criminological aspects of archaeological looting, though he has also written about other forms of art crime. He has taught both Criminal Law and Criminology courses as an associate at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain) and is a Graduate Teaching Fellow in the Political Science department at John Jay College. He is also a criminal defense attorney whose practice is located in Barcelona. Dr. Balcells' new column in The Journal of Art Crime will "delve deep in cases that might happen in less attention-prone countries when it concerns to cultural heritage crimes." Here's an introduction to his first subject, "The Case of the Muñoz Ramonet Legacy (Barcelona, Spain)”
Allow me to show some hometown pride and start with a case that has been quite notorious in Barcelona: the disappearance of part of the legacy of Julio Muñoz Ramonet, a deceased industrialist who amassed a vast, multi-million, impressive art collection. The story has some shady characters, never-ending legal battles, and the disappearance of the artworks, which has prompted recently more legal battles, still pending resolution. 
First of all, it is interesting to see not only how the collection was amassed, but also who was the person doing it. Julio Muñoz Ramonet was a self-made man: from his humble origins he was already planning the way of becoming rich. And that he did: the starting point was for Muñoz Ramonet and some of his closest family members to save in order to buy a tiny factory devoted to cotton threading. The Spanish Civil war (1936-1939) did much of the rest for the business to prosper. He acted as a spy for Franco’s regime when he joined the republican militia: eventually all the spying would pay off when the dictator won the war, which allowed him to climb the ranks of the francoist establishment. In times were absolutely everything had to be rationed, he had, thanks to the black market, enough material for his business to operate in a situation of monopoly. His vast patrimony allowed him to acquire emblematic buildings in the best avenues of the city, like the Casa Batlló (designed by Antoni Gaudí himself), the Palau Robert, or even the Ritz Hotel. His entrance to bourgeois stardom was his marriage to the Villalonga family, which erased totally his humble origin: with her they had four daughters who will be key players in the case.
You may finish reading this column in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue (#11) of The Journal of Art Crime edited by ARCA founder Noah Charney. The Journal of Art Crime may be accessed through subscription or in paperback from Amazon.com. The Table of Contents is listed on ARCA's website here. The Associate Editors are Marc Balcells (John Jay College of Law) and Christos Tsirogiannis (University of Cambridge). Design and layout (including the front cover illustration) are produced by Urška Charney. 

May 28, 2014

David Gill on "The So-Called Crosby Garrett Helmet" in his column "Context Matters" for the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of ARCA's Journal of Art Crime

David Gill is Head of the Division of Humanities and Professor of Archaeological Heritage at University Campus Suffolk. He is a former Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, and was a Sir James Knott Fellow at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was previously a member of the Department of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, and a Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at Swansea University (where he also chaired the university’s e-learning sub-committee). He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and holder of the 2012 Archaeology Institute of America (AIA) Outstanding Public Service Award, and the 2012 SAFE Beacon Award.
David Gill 
Context Matters 
The So-Called Crosby Garrett Helmet 
In late January 2014 a Roman bronze parade helmet went on display in the British Museum. It was said to have been found outside the small Cumbrian village of Crosby Garrett in north-west England. The helmet, now owned by an anonymous private collector, had previously been displayed at the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle (November 2013 to January 2014). The display in Carlisle was accompanied by a short illustrated booklet with contributions from a range of individuals (Breeze and Bishop 2013). Although the helmet reportedly surfaced within the last four years, a number of unanswered questions still remain. 
The helmet itself is a good example of a “sports helmet” probably for use in the hippia gymnasia of a Roman cavalry unit (Bishop 2013). It appears to date from the late second or the third century AD (Bishop and Coulston 2013; Symonds 2014, 16). Three examples of “sports helmets” were found at the Roman fort of Newstead (Trimontium) in Scotland (Toynbee 1962, 166-67, pls. 104-106, nos. 98-100; Maxwell 2005, 63; Breeze 2006, 85, fig. 64). The Crosby Garrett helmet shared a case in the British Museum with the second century AD Roman parade helmet found as part of a hoard of metalwork at Ribchester, Lancashire in 1796 (Toynbee 1962, 167, pl. 108, no. 101). 
The “Crosby Garrett” helmet is reported to have been found by one—though some reports suggested two—metal-detectorists from Peterlee in Co. Durham in May 2010 (on the east side of England). Peterlee is just under 80 km (50 miles) from Crosby Garrett as the crow flies. The helmet appears to have been “in 33 fragments, with 34 smaller fragments found in association” (quoted in Gill 2010a, 5). The site of the reported find was not shown to the Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs), Dot Boughton and Stuart Noon, of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) until August 30, 2010, more than three months after the discovery (Worrell 2010, 30). Noon recalls being shown the spot by the metal-detectorists who claimed it was “not a particularly rewarding area” (Symonds 2014, 13). This is in contrast to the recognised significance of the area in the study of the indigenous population during the period of Roman occupation (Higham and Jones 1985, 83-85). Boughton, the FLO for Lancashire and Cumbria, has now given a brief account of the “Discovery” (Boughton 2013). She supports the suggestion that there were two individuals, a father and son, present at the discovery. It should be noted that the first photographs of the helmet appear in the hands of a woman with manicured fingernails and wearing a striped jumper. It appears that helmet’s visor had been placed “face-down in the ground, and the back of the helmet broken off but folded and deposited inside the visor” (Boughton 2013, 17). There is the suggestion that if PAS officers had not confirmed the find-spot, then UK museums would not have been in a position to bid for the helmet when it had appeared at auction (Worrell et al. 2011).
You may finish reading this article in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue (#11) of The Journal of Art Crime edited by ARCA founder Noah Charney. The Journal of Art Crime may be accessed through subscription or in paperback from Amazon.com. The Table of Contents is listed on ARCA's website here. The Associate Editors are Marc Balcells (John Jay College of Law) and Christos Tsirogiannis (University of Cambridge). Design and layout (including the front cover illustration) are produced by Urška Charney.

May 23, 2014

The Spring/Summer 2014 issue of The Journal of Art Crime Is Now Available

The Spring/Summer 2014 issue (#11) of The Journal of Art Crime edited by ARCA founder Noah Charney is now available. The Table of Contents is listed on ARCA's website here. The Associate Editors are Marc Balcells (John Jay College of Law) and Christos Tsirogiannis (University of Cambridge). Design and layout (including the front cover illustration) are produced by Urška Charney.
Letter from the Editor Spring/Summer 2014
Welcome to the new issue of The Journal of Art Crime, and thank you for subscribing. Your subscription supports ARCA in our research and educational endeavors, and we are grateful for it. 
In this issue you’ll find academic papers from graduates of ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program, as well as the work of world-renowned experts in the field, who likely need no introduction, Neil Brodie and Martin Kemp. This precisely embodies what ARCA and the JAC is all about: supporting new scholars and established experts in a common venue. Where else can a young postgraduate student find her name alongside Martin Kemp’s, a man who is quite probably the most famous art historian living today? I would particularly like to thank Drs. Kemp and Brodie for including their fine essays in this issue of the JAC. They were originally prepared for a forthcoming essay collection, to be published by Palgrave. This collection, as yet untitled, will function as a follow-up to ARCA’s Art & Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World (Praeger 2009), and will feature a dozen new essays by top scholars and professionals, as well as a selection of the finest essays already published in the JAC, over its first five years in print. More information on this volume will follow, but these two essays will give you a preview of “coming attractions,” as it were. 
We hope that you will enjoy these articles. Best wishes and thanks again for your support.
Noah Charney Founder, ARCA Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of Art Crime
 The Journal of Art Crime may be accessed through subscription or in paperback from Amazon.com.