Blog Subscription via

November 25, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, email (for course-credit enquiries), or (for non-credit enquiries).