July 7, 2011

Thief Walks Away with Picasso Sketch a San Francisco Gallery Had Hung Close to the Entrance to "make it accessible to the public"

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

Ari Burack reports in "Picasso sketch stolen from Geary Street gallery in daytime heist" for The Examiner in San Francisco that on July 5 a man "plucked" a Picasso sketch off the wall and left in a taxicab.

The Union Square gallery had insured the artwork before displaying it:

The framed piece, which had been perched on a pillar near the front of the gallery, was double hooked to the wall to try to prevent such a theft, Weinstein said.

The Examiner reports that "The stolen piece is part of Picasso’s Bresnu Collection. Maurice Bresnu was Picasso’s chauffeur. Picasso used to give sketch drawings as gifts to Bresnu and his housekeeper."

This is reminiscent of the story Picasso's electrician has told about receiving work from the artist. Now those works have been confiscated by the courts, the electrician is facing charges, and the question is whether or not the case will be settled in the electrician's lifetime.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/crime/2011/07/picasso-sketch-stolen-geary-st-gallery-daytime-heist#ixzz1RONMMO7n including a related story about a neighboring surveillance camera that may have recorded the thief leaving the gallery.

Leila Amineddoleh, Courtney McWhorter, Michelle D'Ippolito and Sarah Zimmer will form the panel “Fresh Perspectives on Art and Heritage Crime” at ARCA's Third Annual International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 10

"Fresh Perspectives on Art and Heritage Crime", a panel leading the schedule on the second day of ARCA's International Art Crime Conference, will feature Leila Aminddoleh, Courtney McWhorter, Michelle D'Ippolito, and Sarah Zimmer.

Leila Amineddoleh, an alumnus of ARCA’s postgraduate program and Boston College Law School, will present: “The Pillaging of the Abandoned Spanish Countryside”:
"Spain is rich in art treasures: artwork ranging from religious works, modern paintings, ancient architecture, Roman ruins, and Visigoth remnants are densely scattered across Spain’s cities and countryside. Whereas some of the art is world-renowned and protected, much of the art is still hidden in churches and in depopulated towns and is left vulnerable to damage and theft. Spain’s cache of hidden works has great cultural value to the Spanish cultural identity; however, these works are often misappropriated because their existence is virtually unknown or unprotected. This paper sets forth recommendations for Spain to follow to protect is patrimony, most importantly the necessity of creating an extensive catalogue, encompassing both State and Church property."
Leila Amineddoleh has twice published articles in the Art & Cultural Heritage Law Newsletter of the Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee of the ABA Section of International Law, including “The Getty Museum’s Non-Victorious Bid to Keep the ‘Victorious Youth’ Bronze” (Winter 2011, Vol. III). She is currently Intellectual Property Legal Consultant at Independent Legal Counsel and Of Counsel at Lysaght, Lysaght & Ertel in New York.

Courtney McWhorter is currently completing her final year as an Honors student at Brigham Young University, for a Bachelors in Art History. She has worked as a teaching assistant and is an art student to John McNaughton. She has done extensive travel while studying abroad, visiting places such as Greece, Italy, Austria, and Belgium, as well as completing graduate courses while studying in Mexico. She is also a committee member of the Art History Association. Ms. McWhorter will present “Perception of Forgery According to the Role of Art”:
"How we view forgery is dependent upon how we view art as a society. In this paper I will argue that forgeries have been received differently according to the role art is playing at the time they are discovered. I will show how the role of art began changing during World War II, due to the looting of Nazi leaders, and how this affected forgery, using the case of the Van Meegeren forgeries as an example. I will show how art is valued today according to its historicity, rather than its aesthetic capabilities. Such a claim explains why forgeries could have once been acceptable, but now are not because they falsify history. They are placed into historical contexts where they do not fit and thereby misconstrue the public view of history. This paper is important because it shows that by understanding the perception of forgeries at certain periods, we can better understand the role of art and the values placed upon it in society."
Michelle D’Ippolito is completing her final year at the Univeristy of Maryland College Park, majoring in Anthropology with minors in Art History and French. She has interned for the Smithsonian Institution and the Department of the Interior, where she wrote an online course in basic museum collections care. Michelle has an article, “The Role of Museums in the Illegal Antiquities Market,” under review for publication. Ms. D’Ippolito will present “Discrepancies in Data: The Role of Museums in Recovering Stolen Works of Art”:
"The ability of investigative agencies like Interpol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to effectively recover stolen works of art depends in part on how comprehensive and complete their databases of stolen works are. The scope of these databases and their effectiveness in recovering artwork depends on how many reports of theft are submitted by museums to the investigative agencies. This paper looks at the various influences that inform a museum’s response to theft, including sending in reports of theft. It examines how a concern with public image and a lack of funding affect the resources museums have at their disposal to handle museum theft and provides some strategies to improve the deterrence of museum theft worldwide."
Sarah Zimmer is a part-time faculty member in the Photography department of the Art Institute of Michigan. She has studied in both the United States and Italy.  She graduated from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010 with a Masters of Fine Arts in Photography. Ms. Zimmer's works of art have appeared in many different exhibitions, including two solo exhibitions: “Presenting” at Four White Walls in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2005, and “Presence” at the Galleria La Corte in Florence, Italy, in 2007. Ms. Zimmer will present “The Investigation of Object TH 1988.18: Rembrandt’s 100 Guilder Print”.
In 2008, while working at an archive of an unnamed institution it was discovered that an etching by Rembrandt van Rijn was missing from the collection. According to a letter on file it was approved to be sent out for restoration in 1998. However, no record was ever found to confirm that it was sent out for treatment. It was last accounted for in a 1990 inventory. Months were dedicated to digging through files and paperwork. After attempting to track the object starting with its provenance, port of entry, and adoption into the collection, the paper work dropped off and a more rigorous search began. Emails were sent and searches commenced, until one afternoon in 2009 I received a letter from the head of the institution asking me to halt the investigation with no explanation offered. While the particular piece’s rarity and monetary value hold no comparison to the Rembrandt cut from its frame during the 1990 Gardener Museum heist, the unnamed institution continues to guard the knowledge of the prints disappearance. This object and the circumstances that ensued led me to further investigate and explore a larger system of values using Rembrandt as a model. I began by questioning the institutional value of maintaining the secret of a missing artwork that was not of any particular rarity or monetary significance.

July 6, 2011

One Year Later, Peter Paul Biro Takes Offense to David Gann's Profile of Him in The New Yorker

Julia Filip writing for Courthouse News Service reports in "Art Analyst Sues The New Yorker" that Peter Paul Biro of Montreal has complained about the treatment he received by David Gann in The New Yorker last year.  You can read about the lawsuit here and the article in The New Yorker here.  Gann's article is a must-read for anyone curious about fingerprints and authentication.



Wednesday, July 06, 2011 - , No comments

Maria Elena Versari, Annika Kuhn, Elena Franchi and Charlotte Woodhead will be on the panel "Historical Perspectives on Looting and Recovery" at ARCA's Third Annual Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9th

"Historical Perspectives on Looting and Recovery", the third panel at ARCA's International Art Crime Conference in Amelia, will feature Maria Elena Versari, Annika Kuhn, Elena Franchi and Charlotte Woodhead.

Maria Elena Versari, the Assistant Professor of Modern European Art and Architecture at the University of North Florida, will discuss "Iconoclasm by (Legal) Proxy: Restoration, Legislation and the Ideological Decay of Fascist Ruins":
"This paper addresses the ways in which the architectural and artistic production created under Fascism has been perceived, legally defined and handled by subsequent governments and authorities and how the status of iconoclastic actions against these works has changed over time. It focuses specifically on the way in which Fascist architecture offers a significant example of how the fate of politically tainted works challenges the conceptual boundaries that define the distance between legal and illegal, approved and criminal actions in the art world."
After graduating with her PhD from Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Dr. Versari has taught in both Italy and the United States and published many scholarly works, including Constantin Brancusi (Florence: Scala Group/Rome: L’Espresso, 2005) and Wassily Kandinsky e l’astrattismo (Florence: Scala Group, 2007). In addition to teaching, she is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the online journal Art in Translation.

Annika Kuhn, is a Fellow of the Mercator Kolleg on International Affairs (German Academic Foundation/Federal Foreign Office), conducting research on the illicit trafficking and repatriation of antiquities.  Dr. Kuhn holds a DPhil in Ancient History from the University of Oxford. She will present “The Looting of Cultural Property: A View from Classical Antiquity”:
"The destruction and pillage of cultural property in times of war and peace reach far back in history, to the Greek and Roman periods – be it the excessive looting of Greek temples during the Persian Wars or Nero’s large-scale thefts of statues. This paper will examine ancient approaches to and discourses on the plundering of works of art and investigate early concepts of the protection of cultural objects as media of a collective memory and identity. By discussing selected historical examples, I will particularly focus on the different forms of ancient responses to the loss of significant religious and cultural artifacts, which range from the diplomatic negotiation of returns, the repatriation of looted property as symbolic political acts, the restoration of the religious and cultural order by the use of replicas as well as early antecedents of the ‘codification’ of norms to respect the inviolability of religious and cultural sites and prohibit the illicit appropriation of art. The parallels and differences which the ancient paradigms reveal with regard to modern concerns about cultural heritage will shed some new light on the complex nexus of political, religious, cultural and moral issues involved in debates over the protection of cultural property."
Elena Franchi is the author of two books on the protection of Italian cultural heritage during the Second World War: I viaggi dell’assunta: La protezione del patrimonio artistico veneziano durante i conflitti mondiali (Pisa, Edizioni PLUS, 2010), and Arte in assetto di guerra: Protezione e distruzione del patrimonio artistico a Pisa durante la seconda guerra mondiale (Pisa, ETS, 2006). She has been involved in a project on the study of “Kunstschutz”, a German military unit created for the protection of cultural heritage during the war. In 2009 she was nominated for an Emmy Award - “Research” for the American documentary The Rape of Europa, 2006, filmmakers Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen e Nicole Newnham, on the spoils of works of art in Europe during the Second World War.  Ms. Franchi will present “Under the Protection of the Holy See: The Florentine Works of Art and Their Moving to Alto Adige in 1944”.

Charlotte Woodhead, an Assistant Professor at the University of Warwick will present “Assessing the Moral Strength of Holocaust Art Restitution Claims”:
"This paper will analyze recent recommendations of the United Kingdom’s Spoliation Advisory Panel, which hears claims relating to World War II spoliation of cultural objects, and in particular the different aspects of the moral considerations. It will focus on the two primary considerations of the Panel: the circumstances in which the pre-war owner lost possession of the object (the immorality of deprivation) and any moral obligation of the institution in terms of the circumstances in which they acquired the object (the immorality of acquisition). However, other matters appear to influence the moral strength of the claimants’ claims or the remedy, which they receive. In cases where the claimants or their forbears received post-war compensation the Panel also analyses any potential unjust enrichment of claimants were the object to be returned or monetary recompense awarded. The public interest in the cultural object is also a consideration when determining whether or not to return the object rather than to make a financial award. This paper will analyze how far the Panel’s decisions differ from those which would be based on purely legal considerations (assuming the absence of statutes of limitation) and will make some comparisons with similar panels set up abroad to deal with the restitution of spoliated cultural objects."

Charlotte Woodhead's research focuses on cultural heritage law and in particular the recognition and enforcement of property rights in respect of objects of cultural heritage. She has written articles on the restitution and repatriation of objects from museum collections including the work of the Spoliation Advisory Panel and the repatriation of human remains. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies in cultural heritage at the University of Leicester.

July 5, 2011

Courthouse News Service Reports from the Federal Court in Manhattan that a Gallery has been sued for $6.5 million for "overvalued and phony" Russian paintingsvaluation of Russian paintings

Courthouse News Service, a Pasadena, California-based news organization, has reported that a Manhattan Gallery has been sued for $6.5 million for "overvalued and phony" Russian paintings by a Luxembourg company, Arthur Properties.

Philip A. Janquart, the reporter, writes:
Arthur Properties, of Luxembourg, claims that Anatoly Bekkerman and his ABA Gallery conspired "in a multipronged and multifaceted intensive campaign to defraud" it for 18 pieces of 19th and 20th century Russian art, four of which were forged and the others being "of substantially lesser value than Bekkerman had represented." 
"ABA is an art gallery specializing in 19th and 20th century Russian art," the complaint states. "According to its website, 'for over thirty years ABA Gallery has been dealing in the finest examples of nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian painting and sculpture.' 'During that time, the gallery has placed important and rare works of art in major public and private collections throughout Europe and the United States.'" 
Arthur Properties claims that Bekkerman schemed with others, including his own daughter, to defraud Arthur's buying agent, Oleksandr Savchuk, for the "series of paintings purported to be by famous Russian artists."
The people behind Arthur Properties were not identified.  Famous and rich Russians and an auction house has been mentioned in the lawsuit, so this should continue to receive more press.

Laurie Rush, Duncan Chappell, and Phyllis Callina will be on the panel "Perspectives on Forgery and the Local Impact of Heritage Crime" at ARCA's Third Annual International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9

The second panel at ARCA's Third Annual International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9th and 10th will be titled "Perspectives on Forgery and the Local Impact of Heritage Crime."

Laurie Rush, the Booth Family Rome Prize Winner in Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome, will present “Art Crime: Effects of a Global Issue at the Community Level”:
"The market for works of art and objects that are acquired using illegal methods has much more than a passive effect on conflict and social disorder in situations of stress around the world. Examples of the influence of the market on behavior at the local level will be used to illustrate how looting and theft actively contribute to instability and in some cases disintegration of the community fabric at the local level. Likewise, there are also examples where measures to prevent art crime offer valuable support and potential partnership for the hard work required when the goals are conflict resolution, social order, and stability."
Dr. Rush has been the installation archaeologist and running the cultural resources program at Fort Drum, NY in support of the US Army Tenth Mountain Division since 1998. Her degrees include a BA from Indiana University Bloomington and an MA and PhD from Northwestern. Her programs and work have won numerous defense and collegial awards. Dr. Rush is the editor of the new book, Archaeology, Cultural Property, and the Military.

Duncan Chappell, the Chair of the CEPS (Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security) International Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor in the Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney will discuss “Forgery of Australian Aboriginal Art”:
"This paper explores the problem of frauds and fakes in the contemporary Australian Aboriginal art market. For Aboriginal people art plays in particular an important spiritual role in portraying the beliefs and traditions of the ‘dreamtime’- events of the ancient era of creation from which have sprung continuing ceremonies and motifs now perpetuated in modern paintings and other art forms. Art has also become a major source of income for many Aboriginal communities and individuals. Thus when the integrity of that art is challenged by allegations of fraud and fakery it is vital to explore the veracity of these claims and the responses made to them. In the paper particular attention is devoted to those responses made through both the criminal and civil systems of justice in Australia. The conclusion is reached that at present the Australian legal system, and its principal actors such as police and prosecutors, are poorly equipped to deal with problematic works in the Indigenous art market- a situation that is probably not unique to Australia and which will take considerable time and far more imaginative and assertive solutions to remedy."
Since receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1965, Dr. Chappell has held many academic and professional positions including Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and President of the New South Wales Mental Health Review Tribunal (2001-2006). Chappell has published extensively on topics in the criminal world including Violence at Work (3rd edition; Geneva: International Labor Office, 2006) which he co-wrote with Vittorio Di Martino.

Phyllis Callina is a PhD candidate in Ancient History at Swansea University focusing on the protection of cultural property, collecting histories, and the impact of forgeries on the archaeological record. She will present “Historic Forgeries”:
"While laws and regulations such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention may have some influence in protecting against illicit antiquities trading, they do nothing to protect the archaeological record from what I term “historic forgeries.” Historic forgeries were created before the 20th century and, because they have existed for up to a few hundred years in museums and private collections, have established collecting histories that the average scholar or collector would not question. This study provides a cursory look at the volume of historic forgeries that lie unknown in the corpus of antiquities and the danger they pose to the archaeological record. This study also proposes that the quiet and successful existence of these historic forgeries is due largely to the social context within which they were created and in which their collecting histories were developed. The examination of several verified cases of historic forgeries is utilized to analyze the contemporaneous contexts of the forgeries and the structures of their collecting histories, and to present possible solutions for ferreting out additional cases."
Ms. Callina works as an environmental archaeologist for Jacobs Engineering, Inc. and as a Collections Manager at the Alaska Museum of Natural History in Anchorage, Alaska. She also serves as an Antiquities Consultant for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

July 3, 2011

Arthur Tompkins, Ludo Block & Saskia Hufnagel Will Participate in a Panel "Harmonizing Police Cooperation and Returns" at ARCA's Third International Art Crime Conference in Amelia on July 9, 2011

ARCA's third annual International Art Crime Conference will begin next Saturday, July 9th, with the panel "Harmonizing Police Cooperation and Returns" with Judge Arthur Tompkins, Ludo Block and Saskia Hugnagel.

Judge Arthur Tompkins, a District Court Judge in New Zealand, will present “Paying a Ransom: The Theft of 96 Rare Medals and the Reward Payments”:
In December 2007, 96 medals were stolen from New Zealand’s National Army Museum. Included were a number of Victoria Crosses, including one of only three Victoria Cross and bar combinations. Conservatively valued at over $5 million, the theft caused national and international outrage. A privately funded, substantial reward was offered for information leading to the medals’ return. In February 2008, after negotiations conducted with the perpetrators through a lawyer, the medals were recovered and substantial reward payments were made. Subsequently, two men were convicted of the thefts, imprisoned, and the reward payments were recovered. Using this crime as a case study, and referring also to other art and heritage crime reward cases, this presentation will traverse the arguments for and against the payment of ransom or reward in art and heritage crime cases, and legal issues relating to the payment of rewards in different jurisdictions will be considered. Psychological research and the experience gained with, and research conducted in relation to, ransom-seeking pirates off the coast of Somalia, will also be examined.
Arthur Tompkins has extensive experience in criminal trials and civil matters. Since graduating with a Masters of Law with First Class Honours from Cambridge University in England, Tompkins has pursued advances and uses of DNA in criminal cases and, in 2007, was elected an Honorary Member of Interpol’s DNA Monitoring Expert Group. In 2009, he presented “A Proposal for a Permanent International Art Crime Tribunal” at ARCA’s Inaugural Art Crime Conference. He is currently an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Waikato’s School of Law and a Visiting Faculty member for ARCA’s Postgraduate program in International Art Crime, teaching the “Art Crime in War” component.

Ludo Block, a former Dutch police officer and police liaison to the Dutch National Police in Moscow, will discuss his article, “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime”:

The academic literature in the field of cross-border policing tends to concentrate exclusively on the high-level crimes—drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking—that are so often the focus of transnational police cooperation in criminal investigations. There are, however, many other types of transnational crime, including the often neglected art crime, which may represent the third most profitable criminal enterprise in the world, outranked only by drug and arms trafficking. Drawing on existing literature and interviews with practitioners, this study provides a comparative overview of the policing efforts on art crime in a number of European Union (EU) member states and examines the relevant policy initiatives of the Council of the EU, Europol, and the European Police College. It also addresses existing practices of and obstacles to police cooperation in the field of art crime in the EU. The study reveals that EU police cooperation in this field occurs among a relatively small group of specialists and that—particularly given the general lack of political and public attention—the personal dedication of these specialists is an indispensable driver in this cooperation.
Ludo Block focuses his research mostly on European police cooperation which is the subject of his PhD dissertation. His other interests are in intelligence, analysis, and law enforcement in the Russian Federation. He has lectured and written around the world concerning these issues, including his article “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime: A Comparative Overview” which will appear in the forthcoming edition of the Journal of Art Crime (Vol. 4).

Saskia Hufnage, a Research Fellow at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) at Griffith University, Queensland, will present “Harmonising Police Cooperation in the Field of Art Crime in Australia and the European Union”:
Despite the fact that Australia and the European Union (EU) have different structures of governance, different histories, and different dimensions, both entities face surprisingly similar problems in relation to cross-border police cooperation. Australia is divided in nine different criminal jurisdictions, each policed by its own police force. As each police force is only competent on its own territory, with the exception of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), problems of border crossing, information exchange and joint investigations arise similar to those in the EU. This paper presents an overview of policing strategies in the field of art crime in Australia and compares existing problems in the EU to Australia. The necessity of legal harmonisation is overshadowed in this particular area by the importance of strong police-to-police cooperation, crucial for intelligence sharing – as it happens in the EU – and the lack of strong cooperation in the Australasian region. Possible avenues of advancing existing cooperation strategies in this particular field will be discussed.
Saskia Hufnagel was an Assistant Professor at the University of Canberra and a PhD student at the Australian National University in the fields of comparative law, criminal law, cross-border policing and sociolegal studies. She is a German lawyer and accredited specialist in criminal law. Recent publications include ‘“The fear of insignificance”: New perspectives on harmonizing police cooperation in Europe and Australia' (2010) 6(2) Journal of Contemporary European Research 165 and ‘German perspectives on the right to life and human dignity in the “War on Terror”’ (2008) Criminal Law Journal 101.

Sunday, July 03, 2011 - , No comments

ARCA's International Art Crime Conference to be Held July 9 and 10th - Award Winners Congratulated

by Kirsten Hower, ARCA Intern and Blog Contributor

ARCA's International Art Crime Conference will be held next weekend, July 9th and 10th, in Amelia, Italy.

ARCA (Association for Research into Crimes against Art) is a non-profit organization which researches contemporary issues in art crime and cultural heritage protection. ARCA’s mission is to serve as an accessible resource of knowledge and expertise necessary to increase the security and integrity of all art and cultural works. As an interdisciplinary research group/think-tank, ARCA aims to bridge the gap between the practical and theoretical elements of this global issue. ARCA utilizes its vast network of partners and colleagues including foreign and domestic law enforcement officials, security consultants, academics, lawyers, archaeologists, insurance specialists, criminologists, art historians, conservationists, as well as a number of others within the arts and antiquities communities to raise awareness of art crime and cultural heritage protection.

ARCA’s annual art crime conference is held at the seat of our MA Certificate Program, in Amelia, Italy, each summer. The focus of our annual conference is the academic and professional study of art crime, and how it can help contemporary law enforcement and art protection. ARCA seeks to encourage scholars and students worldwide to turn their attentions to the understudied field of art crime and cultural heritage protection.

ARCA congratulates its 2011 award winners:

ARCA Award for Art Policing & Recovery
Paolo Ferri
Dr. Ferri has served as Italian State Prosecutor and has been a prominent figure in the return of many looted antiquities from North American public and private collections. He now serves as an expert in international relations and recovery of works of art for the Italian Culture Ministry.

Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship
Neil Brodie
Dr. Brodie is an archaeologist who has written extensively on the looting of antiquities and their eventual sale. He has conducted archaeological fieldwork and was the former director of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. His terrific writing on the illicit trade in antiquities stands as a thoughtful and passionate cry for the preservation of a vanishing and finite resource.

2009 Vallombroso Award for Art Crime Scholarship
Norman Palmer
ARCA is very pleased to have the opportunity to recognize in person the work of a past award winner, Norman Palmer. He chaired the Ministerial Advisory Board on the Illicit Trade in Cultural Objects (ITAP) from 2001 to 2005 whose work has lead the British parliament to enact the Dealing in Cultural Objects Act in 2003. He has been the chair of the Treasure Valuation Committee since 2001 which advises the Minister of the Arts on discovered portable discoveries. He has published widely on the law relating to cultural objects, personal property and commercial transactions. He is a member of the UK Spoliaton Advisory Panel.

ARCA is pleased to present the following awards to Lord Renfrew and Prof. Merryman who are unable to attend the conference this year.

ARCA Award for Art Security & Protection
Lord Colin Renfrew
Lord Renfrew has been a tireless voice in the struggle for the prevention of looting of archaeological sites, and one of the most influential archaeologists in recent decades. At Cambridge he was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and a Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

ARCA Award for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art
John Henry Merryman
A renowned expert on art and cultural property law, Professor Merryman has written beautifully about art and heritage for many years. He currently serves as an Emeritus Professor at Stanford Law School. He adds this award to his impressive list of awards, including the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and honorary doctorates from Aix-en Provence, Rome (Tor Vergata), and Trieste. His textbook Law, Ethics, and the Visual Arts, first published in 1979 with Albert Elsen, stands as the leading art law text. His writings have shaped the way we think about art and cultural disputes, and have added clarity and rigor to a field he helped pioneer.

July 1, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011 - No comments

ARCA's Postgraduate Program in International Art Crime Studies and Cultural Heritage Protection

Recent thefts from the Cairo Museum in Egypt and the return of the limestone and marble Goddess to Aidone in Sicily underscore the importance of art and cultural heritage. This summer ARCA (The Association for Research into Crimes against Art) is in Amelia for lectures, a summer program, and an international conference. At the beginning of June, the program convened in Umbria, a small but vibrant town which embraces the program. Umbria and the surrounding countryside are an open-air museum which allows the enjoyment and study of cultural heritage and its protection in a setting and region where the past and its heritage are so integral to daily life.

ARCA’s Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection will run for the third year this summer. Courses include discussion of Art and Antiquities Law and Policy, the History of Art Crime, Art History and the Art World, Art Crime and Organised Crime, Illicit Antiquities, Investigation and Art Insurance, and Museum and Art Security. This year there are nearly thirty students who form a cosmopolitan group. Their background includes the arts, journalism, law, archaeology, teaching, and military service. They come to Amelia from Germany, Spain, Canada, Bermuda, and the United States.

This year ARCA is fortunate to have two writers-in-residence join us. The first is Neil Brodie, an archaeologist and a leading voice in the urge for action to prevent the loss of archaeological context. The other is Lawrence Rothfield, an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago Department of English and co-founder of its Cultural Policy Center. He authored The Rape of Mesopotamia (University of Chicago Press, 2009), which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the causes for the failure of U.S. forces to secure the Iraq National Museum and protect the country's archaeological sites from looters in the wake of the 2003 invasion.