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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)

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.