Blog Subscription via

July 31, 2012

Retired FBI Agent Virginia Curry Notes a "Lively" Beginning to Stonehill College's Art Crime Symposium with former Scotland Yard Detective Richard Ellis

July 30th was the first day of the art crime symposium conducted by retired FBI Agent Virginia Curry and retired Scotland Yard Detective Richard Ellis at Stonehill College outside of Boston.

A lecture on the economics of art began the day followed by lunch on campus. Then the sold-out class reviewed an auction preview at Kaminski Auctions in Beverly, Massachusetts, Ms. Curry reported to the ARCA blog. Diane Rivas led a "lively" discussion about the auction market, Curry wrote.

Alex Bond (ARCA 2011) is at the Stonehill Symposium and is pictured here with Ms. Curry and Mr. Ellis.

Richard Ellis also teaches at ARCA's post graduate certificate program in International Art Crime Studies.

July 30, 2012

One to watch: “The Missing Piece” The Truth About the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa

by Tanya K. Lervik (ARCA 2011)

On Sunday, July 29th, a private screening of “The Missing Piece” was held in a Georgetown theater for about 100 invitees in Washington, D.C. For some 30 years, filmmaker Joe Medeiros has been captivated by the challenge to clarify the true motivations behind Vincenzo Peruggia’s 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre museum in Paris. In this charming documentary, he shares his journey of discovery with the joyful wit and irreverence which served him well as head writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Medeiros’s years of research began to coalesce when he discovered that Peruggia’s daughter was still living. He travelled to Italy to interview Celestina Peruggia while simultaneously arranging access to numerous experts and an important trove of primary resources. Of particular interest are letters Peruggia wrote home to his family and the notes from his psychological evaluation after the theft.

The final conclusions reached may not prove surprising to those familiar with the case. However, Medeiros convincingly debunks alternative theories, for example, that a conman mastermind named Eduardo de Valfierno had commissioned the theft in order to make copies to sell to unscrupulous buyers, or that it was really Peruggia’s friend Lancellotti who had committed the theft and hidden the painting. Above all, the film humanizes Vincenzo Peruggia, a man who had become an obscure figure even within his own remaining family. It’s a fascinating look at one of the most infamous art crimes and an engaging account of Medeiros’s personal quest for answers.

The film has recently been entered into numerous film festivals worldwide, the rules of which prohibit the sale of DVDs or public release until after the festival season ends. However, this is definitely a project to watch. Updates are forthcoming on Facebook, Twitter and the project website (

July 27, 2012

"Leonardo's Lost Princess" by Peter Silverman and Catherine Whitney reviewed in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

John Kleberg reviews "Leonardo's Lost Princess" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2012) by Peter Silverman with Catherine Whitney in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.
This book is a fascinating, fast-moving and educational account of the authentication of a previously unknown work by Leonardo da Vinci. Detail about the drawing is first reported in the Antiques Trade Gazette, 12 October 2009, which includes a detailed description of the process of technology applied to authentication. The book covers in depth the suspicions of the owner regarding the drawing to which he was attracted after several years of having not purchased the work when first admired and for sale. A second lucky but unexpected opportunity is presented to purchase the work some years later.
John Kleberg is a retired Assistant Vice President at The Ohio State University where he was instrumental in organizing the program described as well as having administrative responsibility for security, police, and other business and finance operations. He also has been a law enforcement administrator, trainer, and educator in Ohio and Illinois. His undergraduate degree is from Michigan State University, graduate degree from the University of Illinois, and he has done post-graduate work at The Ohio State University and Kent State University. He is the author of numerous articles on campus safety and security issues and is a consultant on campus security issues, including campus museums, libraries, and galleries.

July 26, 2012

Aviva Briefel's "The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century" Reviewed in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

ARCA Founder Noah Charney reviews Aviva Briefel's book, "The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century" (Cornell University Press, 2006) in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.
Forgery fascinates. Whether a forged painting or Shakespeare play, our interest in fakes and forgeries is akin to our interest in magic. A fake is an illusion, created by a magician/forger who awes us with his (and almost all known forgers have been male) sleight of hand. There is also a Robin Hood element to many forgers. Because unlike art thieves, they tend to work alone or with one colleague, and are not linked to more sinister organized crime, we can admire them from a moral comfort zone. Their crimes are more like pranks in our mind, and they traditionally do not cause more damage than to the owners and the experts who might accidentally authenticate them. And so we can smile at these illusionists called forgers and, with relatively few exceptions, do so without guilt.
This concept of forger-as-magician-as-working-class-hero, showing up the elitist art world, has origins that date back to the 19th century. They likely began before, and the history of forgery (a book on which I am just finishing) dates back far longer. But the 19th century is when individual instances shifted to sociological phenomenon. That story is elegantly described in Aviva Briefel’s The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century.

July 25, 2012

Joshua Knelman's "Hot Art" Reviewed in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

ARCA Blog Editor Catherine Sezgin reviews Joshua Knelman's "Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Art" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime:
Interpol and UNESCO listed art theft as the fourth- largest black market in the world (after drugs, money-laundering, and weapons). But what did that mean? After I’d been following Czegledi’s career for several years, one point was clear: don’t look at the Hollywood versions of art theft – the Myth. This is a bigger game, with more players, and the legitimate business of art is directly implicated. A lot of the crimes are hidden in the open. Stealing art is just the beginning. Then the art is laundered up into the legitimate market, into private collections, into the world’s most renowned museums. – Joshua Knelman, author of Hot Art Toronto journalist
Joshua Knelman, author of Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art (Tin House Books 2012), introduces to the general reader the international problem of art crime and the limited resources of legal authorities in fighting this problem in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2003, Knelman was just a 26-year-old researcher for the Canadian magazine Walrus, when he stumbled down the rabbit hole of art theft and recovery. A gallery owner hesitant to speak about the theft of $250,000 worth of photographs stolen two years earlier opens up when police arrest a thief who has some of the pieces. Knelman asks to speak to the suspect’s lawyer, leading to a midnight phone call from the thief who has been investigating Knelman. The two meet in a café in Toronto. The aspiring reporter is physically threatened, given stolen art, and then lectured by the thief about how the secretive business practices in the legitimate art market actually support art crime. Thus begins Knelman’s adventures through the world of thieves and investigators of looted art.

July 24, 2012

James Cuno's "Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum" Reviewed in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

David Gill reviews James Cuno's book, Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum (The University of Chicago Press, 2011) in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.  Dr. Gill is Head of the Division of Humanities and Professor of Archaeological Heritage at University Campus Suffolk, at Ipswich, Suffolk, England.  James Cuno is president and CEO of The J. Paul Getty Trust.
Cuno is passionate about the contribution of the encyclopedic museum to the cultural landscape of our cosmopolitan world. The implicit statement of his title is a change from the earlier questions that he has raised: Whose Muse? (2004), Who Owns Antiquity? (2008), and Whose Culture? (2009) [see reviews by Gill in JAC 1, 1, Spring 2009, 65-66; 2, 1, Fall 2009, 99-100]. The four core chapters on the Enlightenment, the Discursive, the Cosmopolitan, and the Imperial Museums had their origins in the 2009 Campbell Lectures at Rice University.
Cuno avoids turning his attention to the issue of antiquities. Yet they lurk on the periphery of his text. As I walked around the Greek and Roman galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (a good example of an Encyclopedic Museum) in the first weeks of 2012 I had Cuno’s words in my mind as his imaginary viewer engaged with objects on display: “why it looks the way it does, how it might have been made, by whom and where, and what purpose and meaning it may have had for the first people who saw it and all who subsequently came into contact with it before and after it entered the museum’s collection” (pp. 3-4). Signatures of statue bases as well as on Athenian figure-decorated pots may point us to artists of both high and low status. The iconography may provide insights into Athenian social values and indeed myth. Residual paint on funerary stelai reminds us that not all marble was brilliant white. But what about the viewers? How can we understand the reception of such ancient objects when their contexts have been permanently lost? And so often the pieces have no declared collecting histories that will trace their passage from the ground (or even their archaeological context) to museum gallery.

July 23, 2012

"Stealing Rembrandts: the Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists" Reviewed in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Stuart George reviews "Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime. Mr. George is an award-winning writer, consultant and specialist in wine. Mr. Amore is the security director for The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Mr. Mashberg is a Boston-based investigative journalist.
Although over the last two decades or so other artists have overwhelmed his once vaunted prices, Rembrandt remains an iconic figure. Certainly, he is well known to thieves who were unable to resist gunning for works stored in galleries with negligible defense against robbery. Rembrandt’s 1632 portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III has the dubious honor of being the “most oft-stolen painting in the world”. As an International Herald Tribune headline once declared (with uncharacteristic wit), “Rembrandt Needed a Night Watchman.”
Authors Amore and Mashberg — the former the head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the latter an award-wining investigative reporter — explain how media hype of record prices can attract the attention of thieves. They cite the Goldschmidt sale at Sotheby’s in 1958 as the “triggering event” for high art prices that led to criminal interest in art. Three years later Rembrandt’s Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer became, at $2.3 million, the then most expensive painting ever sold. Doubtless, potential raiders noticed this.

July 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Edgar Degas: Works Recovered and Still Missing

Edgar Degas.  Count Lepic and His Daughters.
 1871.  Oil on canvas. 65.5 x 81 cm.
E.G. Bührle Collection, Zurich.

by Kirsten Hower, ARCA European Correspondent

 Today we honour the birthday of French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917).  Best known for his depictions of dancers, Degas was both a sculptor and painter who combined tradition with change in the 19th century art world.  Like many famous artists, his work has been admired and fallen prey to the criminal world.  One of his paintings, Count Lepic and His Daughters of 1871, was part of a four year recovery that was only recently announced upon its completion in April of this year.
   On the afternoon of Sunday, February 10, 2008, three masked gunman stole four paintings from the E.G. Bührle Collection in Zurich—one of the greatest Impressionist and Post-Impressionist museums in Europe.  The four paintings, one each by Cézanne, Degas, van Gogh, and Monet, were valued at $163 million and have all been recovered as of April 2012.[i]  Degas’ painting was actually recovered in 2009, but this information was kept quiet until the recovery of the final and most expensive painting, Cézanne’s The Boy in a Red Vest, was recovered in 2012.  There was some damage to the paintings which had been cut from their frames, including the Degas which thankfully only suffered damage to the edges of the painting.[ii] 
  Degas’ group portrait of Count Lepic and his two daughters has an entirely Impressionist look, particularly the girls who look rather Cassatt-like, though it has moments of looking far more like charcoal or watercolour rather than an oil painting on canvas.  Lepic’s face appears unfinished, his expression just shy of unreadable save for the attentive gaze of a father for his daughter.  The two girls stare out at the viewer with gazes both knowing and angelically innocent.  One can imagine even a hardened criminal becoming uneasy under such a gaze, especially after having damaged the painting during the theft.
   Thankfully for Degas, this particular theft of his artwork had a happy ending.  Five works by Degas do not have such a happy ending and are currently missing in conjunction to the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft of 1990, including Cotège aux Environs de Florence (pencil and wash on paper).  Hopefully these works will one day have their happy ending as well.

Kirsten Hower is the Academic Program Assistant for ARCA.  She is currently finishing her MLitt at Christie's Education.

[i]Uta Harnischfeger and Nicholas Kulish, “At Zurich Museum, a Theft of 4 Masterworks,” New York Times, February 12, 2008.
[ii], “Stolen Degas recovered damaged,” April 27, 2012.

July 18, 2012

Noah Charney on "Art Crime in North America" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

A shorter version of this lecture was delivered via Skype to the conference entitled “Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation, and Prosecution of Art Crime,” organized by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policingand Security (CEPS) at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia on May 1-2, 2012. An extended version, including citations and new edits, will be published in two upcoming academic publications, both organized by CEPS.
Today I’m pleased to speak about art crime in North America. It is refreshing for me not to have to introduce art crime in general—if anyone knows about it, it will be my fellow speakers. So many of us are obliged to begin talks with an introduction to art crime, because the extent of it, and the facts obscured by fiction, film, and media misinterpretation, create a screen that can be difficult to see beyond. Even the facts, presented by reputable sources like the US Department of Justice, are not always clear and coherent. They rank art crime as the third highest-grossing criminal trade worldwide, behind only the drug and arms trades. This is based on a study that my friend and colleague, Vernon Rapley, could tell you more about—it was a combined Interpol and Scotland Yard study that was also integrated into the UK Threat Assessment in 2006/2007. Another number that we hear is that art crime is worth $6 billion per year. Of course no one has any real idea, and that number is little more than an arbitrary guess. It could only reflect the estimated black market value of art registered as stolen (meaning 7-10% of its estimated auction value, which is itself an unscientific measurement). If that number is correct, then art crime cannot be the third highest- grossing criminal trade. The number is far too low, and human trafficking, even illegal traffic of plants and animals, might be considered higher. We simply don’t know, which can be frustrating—it is also one of the reasons why art crime has gone relatively understudied until recent years. Criminologists shy away from a field such as this, which lacks extensive and accurate empirical data, and relies on macro-analysis from anecdotal material and the experience of those in the field, often related orally or even through the unreliable filter of the media.

July 17, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - ,, No comments

Spotlight on Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations and Repatriations

By Colette Loll Marvin

On July 12th, I attended a cultural repatriation ceremony at the Embassy of Peru in Washington, DC. The ceremony was conducted in order for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to formally return to the government of Peru 14 stolen and looted cultural paintings and artifact. The items were recovered in 5 separate investigations by special agents of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Returned to the people of Peru were 9 beautiful 18th century religious paintings from the Cusco region of Peru, a Spanish colonial silver and gilt enamel monstrance from the 1700’s that was stolen from a church altar, and 4 archeological items that date back more than 2,000 years. The return of these items was the culmination of a year’s long investigative effort by ICE special agents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Interpol, and the State Department’s Cultural Heritage Center.

Participating in the repatriation ceremony were ICE Director John Morton, Peruvian Ambassador to the United States Harold Forsyth, and U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

“The plundering of cultural property is one of the oldest forms of organized cross-border crime and has become a world-wide phenomenon that transcends frontiers” said ICE Director John Morton. He then added, “Why do we care about cultural heritage crimes when we could be chasing drug smugglers, human traffickers and gang members? If we ignore these crimes, we debase our past.”

“This repatriation is an example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement partners and government leaders from around the world work together in pursuit of a common goal” said Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

Because of the proactive and thorough investigative and undercover work by special agents, these items were able to be returned to their country of origin. Several were up for auction at a Christies, some were being sold at numerous galleries, and still others were offered for sale on EBay. HSI investigations revealed that all of these objects were taken out of Peru in violation of Peruvian law and brought into the U.S. in violation of U.S. Customs law and regulations. Specifically, the items had been removed in violation of a U.S.--Peru bi-lateral agreement negotiated by the U.S. Department of State and enacted in 1997, which restricts the importation of pre-Columbian artifacts and colonial-era religious objects into the United States without proper documentation.

Federal importation laws give HSI the authority to take a leading role in investigating crimes involving the illicit importation and distribution of cultural property and art. Customs laws allow HSI to seize cultural property and art brought into the United States illegally, especially when objects have been reported lost or stolen.

ICE agents bring valuable artworks into the Peruvian Embassy ICE agents inspect works that are intended for repatriation

July 16, 2012

Reflections on a field trip to Narni

by Sally Johnson, Yale University 2012

It seems a wonder that day-to-day modern life continues amidst the historical architecture and culture of Narni. Layers of history are evident along every street: from buildings dating back several centuries to residences assembled from the remnants of older structures to modern Gelateria. While the historic sites—especially the churches—were striking, what was most inspiring was the mere fact that present day-to-day life thrives in the town while still maintaining enormous respect for the past.

From my experience, it seems that Narni preserves its cultural heritage by creating an easily accessible while simultaneously well-secured sightseeing district. Present-day town life itself takes place within the historic center; modern shops and restaurants line the cobbled piazza, citizens walk the pathways, and cars zoom down the streets. Children even play on the playground built along the ancient wall! At the same time, the town also houses a historic museum showcasing its treasures, and amidst the hustle and bustle (or shuttered quiet of siesta) one can descend underground for a tour of the chambers utilized by the Spanish Inquisition.

Narni takes advantage of the tourist industry, revenue from which can further aid in the protection of the sites and ensure its preservation for the future, while at the same time open up the rich history of the town to the public. From my day-trip experience, it seems that this can be a feasible and productive way to both protect and engage with cultural heritage.

July 15, 2012

Press Release for the 2012 ARCA Conference on the Study of Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection

by Noah Charney, Founder of ARCA

The fourth annual ARCA Conference on the Study of Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection was held June 23-24 in Amelia, Umbria, the seat of ARCA’s Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, a program held in Italy every summer that is the first academic program in the interdisciplinary study of art crime. Among the many important speakers were winners of the annual awards presented by ARCA, including George Abungu, the leading spokesperson for the protection of cultural heritage in Africa; Joris Kila, a co-winner with Karl von Habsburg, who is a specialist in the protection of art and monuments during military operations; and Jason Felch, co-winner with Ralph Frammolino, for his investigative work in the , about the Getty art scandals.

HRH Ravivaddhana Sisowath, Prince of Cambodia
A surprise addition to the roster of speakers at the conference was His Royal Highness, Ravivaddhana Sisowath, Prince of Cambodia. His Highness spoke about the recent seizure from Sotheby’s of the Koh Kher statue by US authorities.

Fabio Isman
Isman, Italy’s leading investigative journalist on the black market in antiquities, and winner of a 2011 ARCA award, spoke of the continued problem of looted Italian antiquities, and the extent of the problem as a whole, which is far greater than most realize. An estimated 7% of all works looted from Italy since the Napoleonic era have been returned—the rest remains abroad. That said, Italy has had more art repatriated than any other country, in any period in history, aside from the immediate repatriation of post-World War Two Nazi-looted art. A Princeton University study estimates that, since 1970 alone, approximately 1.5 million items were looted from Italy. Isman’s research found around 25,000 items that had been identified and returned. What is still out there is staggering. Isman discussed cases within the last six months that show the continued willingness for museums to trade in illicit antiquities.

Laurie Rush
The Writer in Residence on the ARCA Program for 2012, Dr Rush is an archaeologist with the US Army who is charged with training US soldiers and officers about the importance of respecting and protecting local cultural heritage and traditions in combat zones. Conflict offers opportunity for theft, but also and far more frequent the inadvertent damage of cultural property. Rush noted the Italian antiques market magazine Antiquariato, in 2011, wrote that this was the best time to collect Egyptian antiquities, referring to the social turmoil in Egypt, which would surely turn up more antiques smuggled out of the country. Dr Rush is preparing the US Field Commander’s Guide to Cultural Heritage Protection, and is an advocate of paying local families in conflict zones like Afghanistan, who have lost their livelihood, to protect and supervise local cultural heritage sites—they are empowered, paid a small amount that is large to them, and are best situated to respectfully function as long-term protector of a site.

Bill Wei
Dr Wei, of the Netherlands Institute of Cultural Heritage, is an engineer and conservator who spoke of a new system for “fingerprinting” artworks that he has helped to develop. The system is called Fing-Art-Print, and is a non-contact method for the three-dimensional identification of unique art objects.
Joris Kila
Dr Kila, who accepted the award on behalf of both winners, discussed his adventures investigating accusations of looting in Libya, and found no such evidence, aside from the now-renowned Ben Ghazzi coin heist, in which thieves elaborately drilled through a thick cement bank vault floor during bombings. Dr Kila also emphasized the tremendous success of precision bombing during the Libya conflict: Ghaddafi had situated key military targets on or next to archaeological sites, to dissuade bombings. And yet the precision bombing was so successful that no archaeological items were damaged, and yet the targets were destroyed, even when they were situated beside the archaeological site. Dr Kila showed photographs of destroyed military transports and radar machinery that stood within meters of a Roman ruin, and yet the ruin was entirely unharmed.

Jason Felch
Felch accepted the award on behalf of both parties. He discussed his immersion in the world of illicit antiquities and major museums, and how he slowly uncovered a vast cache of tens of thousands of documents and images of looted art, many of the documents explicitly proving that insiders at the Getty had knowingly purchased looted antiquities over many years, and were making secret plans to cover up their actions. While the Getty has returned 60 objects looted from Italy, a secret Getty memo uncovered by Felch and Frammolino noted around 350 total looted objects that Getty officials were concerned could be targeted by Italy because they were looted. Felch also described his WikiLoot project, a new endeavor in its infant stages which Felch envisions as a crowd-sourcing online platform to publish documents and photographs related to the illicit trade in antiquities. He intends to publically publish these tens of thousands of documents and photos in the future. The ARCA Conference, and Jason’s activities, were covered recently in The Guardian.

George Abungu
The final award of the day was for Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art, and when to George H. O. Abungu. Dr. Abungu, a native of Kenya, has served on multiple chairs and committees related to protection world and African cultural heritage. He was Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya, and is now Vice-President of ICOM, serves on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, among his many distinguished titles and activities. Dr Abungu discussed the protection and preservation of rock art throughout Africa. Rock carvings and paintings dating to thousands of years BC are found throughout Africa, from South Africa to Morocco—and yet they are largely at exposed, though remote, sites and are therefore at risk of the elements, looting, and occasional vandalism.

Paolo Giorgio Ferri
The renowned Italian prosecutor, winner of an ARCA award in 2011, returned to give a keynote speech, discussing his discovery of a forged Euphronios kylix that had been mixed in with authentic looted antiquities and passed off by tomb raiders as original, demonstrating the alarming link between forgeries and the illicit antiquities trade. While artist foundations preserve the legacy of modern painters, there are no organizations charged with preserving the legacy of the ancients. Dr Ferri discussed the importance of enforcing the well-meaning, but not always effective customs laws put in place by UNESCO and the Palermo Convention. He also was asked why the infamous art dealer Robin Symes has not been indicted by Italy. He responded that there were many factors, including the non-cooperation of the UK, the end of the statute of limitations for the main case Italy had built against Symes (the crime took place in 1982 but the evidence was only complete in 2004), and the face that Symes had cooperated with Italian authorities in the recovery of some looted antiquities taken by other dealers, including an ivory mask that was recovered thanks to Symes, and for information about the Fleischman collection laundering operation.

July 14, 2012

ARCA’s Best Kept Secret: Views from the Early Career Panel

Meg Lambert in Amelia (Photo by Alesia Koush)
by Meg Lambert

A couple weeks ago I returned home from Amelia, Italy, where I presented in the early career panel at the fourth annual ARCA conference. All the typical things you might expect about attending a conference in late June in a beautiful Umbrian hillside town are true: the scenery was fantastic, the food was glorious, and the unparalleled espresso gave me heart palpitations. But in the weeks since I’ve come home, I have gained yet more appreciation for what I believe might be ARCA’s best kept (or least publicized) secret: ARCA has a particularly excited place in its heart for young students just finding their way into the field of art crime, and they support student work in a way few other organizations do. 

We already know that ARCA is making tremendous strides for education in art crime through the Postgraduate Certificate that is offered every year. However, it is in the small actions and words of ARCA directors and members that this support and excitement is most evident. I was lucky enough to experience this firsthand last weekend, when I traveled from Massachusetts to Italy (just for the weekend, never again) to give my first major presentation on my work to a room full of distinguished scholars and professionals in this field. One fourth of my way through the Friday night cocktails that kicked off the conference, I was fairly star struck from meeting so many influential and passionate people and having such earnest conversations with them. Never once did I feel like “just a student”. At any other conference, where academic hierarchy and competition determines your relationships with elder and younger colleagues alike, I might have had a much harder time finding my place as a newcomer. But at ARCA, there was only a great deal of excitement and anticipation for what my co-panelist, Aaron Haines, and I would bring to the bigger conversation of the conference as a whole. At every step of the way, we, and our significant number of under-30s peers, were treated as equals in the collective struggle to understand and address art crime.

This was true even during the many humbling times I realized just how new I still am in this field after three years of study. (Jason Felch, writer of Chasing Aphrodite, mentioned a few times how he considers himself a rookie after having been immersed in it for seven years.) For example, I shared the taxi from the train station to Amelia with George Abungu, a veritable giant in this field and this year’s recipient of the ARCA Lifetime Achievement Award. But since Dr. Abungu’s description of his work on our cab ride consisted solely of, “I’m an archaeologist, but these days I am doing mostly cultural heritage management”, I had no idea that he was so influential until his work was described during the awards. When I mentioned this to someone from ARCA, they responded in a kind of excited, “I know, right?!” demeanor. No unpleasant surprise or haughty sniffing that I didn’t already know Dr. Abungu’s work. Just a shared excitement that George could be with us in Amelia and speak so passionately and generously about his current work protecting Africa’s ancient rock art. (And boogie so hard at La Laconda to all the best of Italian techno-pop/Abba.)

I most warmly felt the support of ARCA as a whole during and after my presentation on Sunday morning. At any other conference, I might have been challenged or confronted on aspects of my research during the question and answer session. But at the ARCA conference, Aaron and I both had only the most benevolent support and a number of very friendly queries about our presentations. I had only one archaeologist challenge me on the difference between looting, commercial salvaging, and treasure hunting, and that was very productively resolved through good-natured explanation and discussion. Afterward, I was approached and congratulated by many of the most interesting, generous, and influential individuals in this field, all of whom were simply excited to see fresh faces studying these issues and to speak as equals about their own work. The whole experience was an exercise in keeping my cool as these people whose books I had read (or whom I had read about in books) congratulated me on my work and gave me their card to keep in touch. Or encouraged me to do my PhD in Australia. Or asked me to send along my thesis for a read. Heady stuff for the new kid.

After the conference had officially ended and a handful of us were enjoying drinks during the Italy vs. England game, it was somehow unanimously decided that just a weekend in Italy is not enough (it really isn’t) and that I should stay to audit the criminology session of the Postgraduate Certificate course, especially considering I will be pursuing a Master of Research in Criminology this fall. It had been only two days of sitting in the same sweaty room listening to the same amazing speakers, and already we had sized each other up as pretty cool and were ready to keep learning together. Although it ended up being too expensive to change plane tickets, it was astounding to have such an opportunity arise at the last minute and to have new friends eagerly inviting me to crash on the empty bed they had wherever they were living.

In the summer between my undergraduate graduation and the beginning of my graduate work, I could not have asked for a warmer, more exciting welcome into the academic community of art crime. Students, take note: ARCA is looking for your passion and excitement about these issues so they can help introduce you to all the right people to make your dream career a reality. You couldn’t ask for a greater group of people with whom to begin and sustain your lifelong work.

Meg Lambert writes about the illicit antiquities trade and other cultural heritage issues at and will be pursuing her MRes in Criminology at the University of Glasgow this fall.

July 13, 2012

"Appendix on Forensics of Forgery Investigation" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Noah Charney writes on the "Appendix on Forensics of Forgery Investigation" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime. The text was used as wall copy in the exhibition "Faux Real," on the career of art forger Mark Landis, held at the museum of the University of Cincinnati, which opened 1, 20012, and is curated by Aaron Cowan. This text is a preview of Charney's forthcoming book, The Book of Forgery, to be published by Phaidon in 2013.
The world of forensics is both fascinating and potentially confusing to non-scientists. Since Martin de Wiild first used forensic examination to authenticate van Gogh paintings in the first decades of the 20th century, science has been one of the key means of distinguishing fakes from originals in the art world. The complexity of the science employed by conservators and specialists means that non-scientists are confronted with processes and terms about which they know very little. While a true understanding of these techniques and terms requires intensive study, the following glossary offers a quick-reference for those who would like to know more about the forensic techniques used in the study of art.
Glossary terms include Dendrochronology; Ultraviolet light; X-radiography; Infrared Radiation; Ultraviolet Fluorescence & Polarized Light Microscopy; Scanning Electron Microscope; Energy Dispersive X-ray; X-ray Diffraction; Raman Microscopy; Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy; Chromatography & Mass Spectrometer; High Performance Liquid Chromatography; Radiocarbon Dating; X-ray Fluorescence Analysis; and Fingerprint & DNA Analysis.

Noah Charney is the Founder and President of ARCA and the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Art Crime. Recently a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University, he currently is a professor at the American University of Rome and Brown University. He is the editor of ARCA’s first book, Art & Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World (Praeger 2009) and The Thefts of the Mona Lisa: On Stealing the World’s Most Famous Painting (ARCA Press 2011).

July 12, 2012

Joshua Knelman publishes the essay "Headache Art" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Joshua Knelman's essay "Headache Art" is an excerpt from his book Hot Art (Tin House, 2012) and is published with permission from the author in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.
Giles Waterfield, director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, was supposed to be relaxing. He woke up in Scotland on his first holiday that year, excited about attending the Edinburgh International Festival—music, poetry, literature. He hadn’t even left a telephone number where he could be contacted by staff.
Waterfield was out of bed by 9 AM and strolled from the art dealer’s apartment where he was staying to nearby Waverley train station, where he bought a copy of The Times. He scanned the front page of the most venerated newspaper in England. The date was August 15, 1981. “It was right there in bold letters: ‘Rembrandt Stolen for Third Time,’” remembered Waterfield.
Joshua Knelman is a journalist, based in Toronto, whose first book, Hot Art, was recently published by Tin House.

July 11, 2012

Noah Charney's "Lessons from the History of Art Crime" features "Mark Landis: the Forger Who Has Yet to Commit a Crime" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Noah Charney's column "Lessons from the History of Art Crime" features "Mark Landis: the Forger Who Has Yet to Commit a Crime" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.
To trick the art world has been the primary motivation of nearly all of history’s known forgers. The financial gains aside, forgers often seek to fool the art community as revenge for having dismissed their own original creations. Traditionally, this takes two forms: first, forgers demonstrate their ability to equal renowned artists, by passing their work off as that of a famous master; and second, they show the so-called experts to be foolish, by thinking that the forgers’ work is authentic. Money has been only a secondary concern for many of history’s known forgers — an added bonus after the initial thrill of success at having fooled the art community. But one very unusual forger, the subject of an exhibition called “Faux Real” at the University of Cincinnati that opened on April Fools’ Day of this year, is an exception to just about every rule.
Noah Charney is the Founder and President of ARCA and the Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Art Crime. Recently a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University, he currently is a professor at the American University of Rome and Brown University. He is the editor of ARCA’s first book, Art & Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World (Praeger 2009) and The Thefts of the Mona Lisa: On Stealing the World’s Most Famous Painting (ARCA Press 2011).

July 9, 2012

"Princeton and Recently Surfaced Antiquities" in David Gill's column "Context Matters" for Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

In the column "Context Matters", David Gill writes on "Princeton and Recently Surfaced Antiquities" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.
In 1983 the USA ratified the 1970 Unesco Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14 November 1970). Article 7 includes the statement,
To take the necessary measures, consistent with national legislation, to prevent museums and similar institutions within their territories from acquiring cultural property originating in another State Party which has been illegally exported after entry into force of this Convention, in the States concerned.
In 2002 the Princeton University Art Museum agreed to return the fragmentary pediment of a Roman funerary relief that it had acquired in 1985 from New York dealer Peter Sharrer with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Leon Levy (inv. 85-34: Princeton University Art Museum 1986, 38, 39 [ill.]; Padgett 2001b, 47-51, no. 11). It turned out that the fragment had been discovered in 1981-82 at Colle Tasso near Tivoli and had been published by Zaccaria Mari. Michael Padgett, the then curator at Princeton and who was preparing a catalogue of the Roman sculptures, notified the museum’s acting director who in turn contacted the Italian authorities (Anon. 2002). Susan M. Taylor, the museum’s newly appointed director, was quoted in the press release about the return: “We are proud to be an active partner in the ongoing international effort to resolve ownership claims for stolen objects and in discouraging the illegal trade of art and cultural artifacts.” 
This was not to be the end of the museum’s return of antiquities.
Dr. Gill is Head of the Division of Humanities and Professor of Archaeological Heritage at University Campus Suffolk, at Ipswich, Suffolk, England. He is the author of 2011 book, "Sifting the soil of Greece: the early years of the British School at Athens (1886-1919)".

July 8, 2012

Ton Cremers on "Rise in Thefts from Museums: Due to Economic Crisis?" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Columnist Ton Cremers speculates on the "Rise in Thefts from Museums: Due to Economic Crisis?" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime.

Mr. Cremers is a security consultant and the founder of The Museum Security Network (MSN). He was awarded the 2003 Robert B. Burke Award for excellence in cultural property protection. Here's an excerpt:
The Museum Security Network ( has been on line since December 1996. In the past fifteen years over 40,000 reports have been disseminated about incidents with cultural property, such as thefts, fakes and forgeries, vandalism, and embezzlement. The number of thefts of sculptures from gardens and towns has grown tremendously, so much so that we have stopped trying to record all of them.
This year alone (and this is just a brief summary, far from complete) Stone Age axes were stolen from the Yorkshire Museum, a number of Lord Nelson artifacts were stolen from the Norwich Museum, as well as Buddhas from Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, artifacts worth £1.8m from Durham University’s Oriental Museum, watches from Silverton Country Historical Society museum, a lifeboat from RNLI’s museum; Museum Gouda (in The Netherlands) was robbed of a 17th century religious object, after the museum door was forced open using explosives; the National Gallery in Athens suffered a theft of Picasso and Mondrian paintings; and the Olympia Museum in Greece lost over 70 objects, after a early morning robbery. Thieves have wrenched the horns off stuffed rhinoceroses in European museums: Bamberg, Germany, Florence, Italy, Haslemere Educational Museum, Ritterhaus Museum Offenburg, Germany, Sworders Auctioneers, Stansted Mountfitchet, and more. Officials at Europol, the European Union’s criminal intelligence agency, claim the number of thefts of rhinoceros horns has increased sharply in Europe during the past year. Since 2011, the agency has recorded 56 successful, and 10 attempted, thefts.
According to a U.K. report 75,000 heritage crimes were committed in one year (experts warn that the “alarming” figures show that Britain’s history is being destroyed in an “insidious and often irreversible way” for future generations): the study found nearly a fifth of the country’s 31,000 Grade I or II* buildings were subject to criminal acts, while more than 63,000 Grade II buildings were targeted. The report, compiled by the Council for British Archaeology and Newcastle and Loughborough universities, found that crimes such as metal theft were more likely to occur in the north, while at least 750 sites were hit by “devastating” arson attacks.
All together an alarming development, or is this just business as usual?

The Journal of Art Crime is now available to subscribers.

July 7, 2012

Donn Zaretsky writes on "When Photography Might be Illegal" in his Art Law and Policy column for the Spring/Summer 20112 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Attorney Donn Zaretsky writes on "When Photography Might be Illegal" in his Art Law and Policy column in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime (available via subscription).

Donn Zaretsky is an art law specialist at the firm John Silberman Associates. Zaretsky published the Art Law Blog at
In an earlier Art Law and Policy column (Spring 2011), I looked at the question of whether a state can declare subject matter off-limits to photographers. In that case, the subject matter was farms: the state of Florida was considering a bill that would have made it illegal to take photographs of a farm without consent. I argued that such a statute would be clearly unconstitutional. “[As] a general matter,” the Supreme Court has said, “the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.” Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 535 U.S. 564, 573 (2002) (internal quotation marks omitted; emphasis added). 
Texas Penal Code § 21.15(b)(1) presents a related question. What if it’s not the subject matter that’s off-limits, but the subject matter combined with the photographer’s intent in taking the photograph? The statute makes it a crime to photograph someone “without the person’s consent” and “with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.” Late last year, a Texas appellate court upheld the statute. Ex parte Nyabwa (Tex. Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2011). The Court acknowledged that “[photography] is a form of speech normally protected by the First Amendment,” but accepted the State’s argument that “the statute is not a regulation of speech at all, but instead is a regulation of the photographer’s or videographer’s intent.” Just as a statute criminalizing harassment by telephone (which will typically involve speech) does not violate the First Amendment because it focuses on the actor’s intent (in that case, “to inflict emotional distress”), this statute regulates “a person’s intent in creating a visual record,” as distinct from “the contents of the record itself.” On this basis, the Court concluded that the statute “is not a regulation of speech” and therefore does not violate the First Amendment.

July 6, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: Thierry Lenain on "The Forger's Point of View"

Thierry Lenain writes about the psychology of a forger in "The Forger's Point of View" in the Spring/Summer 2012 electronic issue of The Journal of Art Crime (now available with a subscription).
Abstract: Adopting an interpretative perspective aiming to shed light on the forger’s point of view – the ideas he has of the art, of its history and of his own practice – implies an initial paradox. By definition, the forger would not attribute his productions to any other but himself without concealing his own artistic subjectivity. This is why only failure on the forger’s part or a discovery of the fake can lead to an understanding of his point of view. Under this condition, two pathways open up to the hermeneutic inquiry. It can first be based on the examination of the works themselves. The stylistic distortions and, more importantly, the way of combining the iconographic borrowings betray the imaginary of the forger, working with the intention of deceiving. Their study most often shows a figurative spirit torn between literal imitation and the paradoxical desire to invent what the imitated artists could have created. But beyond that, the words and writings of the forgers also call for interpretation. Whether it means, for them, to revive the destabilizing power of their practice or, in contrast, to legitimize it, their discourse assumes a “theory” of the history of art that inscribes itself as well in the realm of tension and paradox. We see them, indeed, dismiss the historicist reason while at the same time relying on it. On the one hand, they rely upon an aesthetic of the expressive trace according to which all original work translates the spirit of its author as a historically placed subject. On the other, they like to imagine that the spirit of the imitated masters comes to visit them across time (spiritualism), unless they refer to eternal laws of art (idealism), whose notion leaves no room to the difference between the fake and the authentic.
Thierry Lenain is a professor of art theory at Université Libre de Bruxelles. His latest book is Art Forgery: the History of a Modern Obsession.

July 5, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel on "The Beltracchi Affair: A Comment on the "Most Spectacular" German Art Forgery Case in Recent Times

Australian criminologist Duncan Chappell and Dr. Saskia Hufnagel write on "The Beltracchi Affair: A Comment on the  "Most Spectacular" German Art Forgery Case in Recent Times" in the Spring/Summer 2012 electronic issue of The Journal of Art Crime (now available by subscription).
Abstract: On the 27th of October 2011 the four persons accused of the ‘most spectacular’ art forgery case in German post-war history were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 21 months to 6 years. The accused were Wolfgang Beltracchi (61), the painter of the forged works; his wife Helene Beltracchi (53) and her sister Jeanette Spurzem (54) who helped him in various ways; and the ‘logistical expert’ in the case, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus (68). Considering the financial damage the forger group had caused, the embarrassment of buyers, dealers, experts and auction houses, as well as the considerable publicity the trial incurred, this seemed a remarkably mild verdict. However, observing the way in which art forgers at large appear to be dealt with by the justice systems of various countries, it could be said that the case just confirms a reoccurring pattern of lenient sentencing. This article will examine the case and its repercussions.
Duncan Chappell is a lawyer, criminologist and former Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology. He is also the Chair of the Australian Research Council’s Center of Excellence in Policing and Security. Currently an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney he has researched and published on art crime as well as acting as an expert in art crime cases. His recent publications include Manacorda, S. and Chappell, D. Crime in the Art and Antiquities World. Illegal Trafficking in Cultural Property (New York: Springer, 2011).

Saskia Hufnagel is a Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS), Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Her PhD studies were completed at the Australian National University (ANU) on the topic ‘Comparison of EU and Australian cross-border law enforcement strategies.’ Her current work focuses on comparing legal frameworks in Australia and the EU, particularly in the fields of mass gatherings, surface transport, maritime and aviation security. She conducts further research in the field of EU and Australian police cooperation and more specifically the policing of art crime. Her publications include 114 ‘Cross-border police co-operation: Traversing domestic and international frontiers’ (2011) Crim LJ 333 and she co-edited ‘Cross-border Law Enforcement - Regional Law Enforcement Cooperation - European, Australian and Asia-Pacific Perspectives’ (2011) Routledge. Saskia is a qualified German legal professional and accredited specialist in criminal law.

July 4, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: Aleksandra Sheftel on "Looting History: An Analysis of the Illicit Antiquities Trade in Israel"

Aleksandra Sheftel's article on "Looting History: An Analysis of the Illicit Antiquities Trade in Israel" is published in the Spring/Summer 2012 electronic issue of the Journal of Art Crime.
Abstract: The state of Israel has numerous historically and culturally significant archaeological sites. Some of these date back to as early as 8000-7000 B.C, and are important to three of the world’s great religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Unfortunately, many of these sites are targeted by looters who illegally excavate the sites and, in doing so, erase history. This paper is an overview of the antiquities looting problem in Israel. It discusses Israel’s existing laws regarding the antiquities trade, describes the effects that Israel’s wars have had on the illicit antiquities trade, and the different motivations and attitudes of the looters in Israel. The paper also discusses the market players in this trade, analysing the roles the middlemen, the dealers, and the collectors play. It discusses who the looters are, why they engage in their illicit activities, and how they go about their business. The paper discusses ways in which the Israeli government has tried to stop the trade in illicit antiquities, and the debates that surround these and other proposed solutions. The paper concludes by analysing three alternative solutions that Israel could consider implementing in order to curb the looting.
Aleksandra Sheftel graduated “With Distinction” from the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection in 2011.

July 3, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: John Daab on "Daubertizing the Art Expert"

Fraud expert John Daab writes about the delicate nature of art authentication in his article "Daubertizing the Art Expert" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of the Journal of Art Crime, which can now be electronically downloaded with a subscription.
Abstract: Most industries in the United States are regulated by law. The world of art, although regulated in a general framework, is not regulated when it comes to selling that which is authentic (Mccullough, 2012). Million dollar allegedly authentic works of fine and decorative art are vetted and sold by art “experts” with little or unrelated education, questionable training, non-mentored or no specific expert work experience, hyped commendations, bloated resumes and unreferenced mass media professional status. With the help of the mass media, such individuals achieve expert status without satisfying the standards of that which the law or scholarship requires (Briefel, 2006). In the recent Wolfgang Beltracchi forgery case, 47 million dollars of paintings from the “hand of various artists” were authenticated with the note made by the experts that “...using science was a waste of time” (Wright, 2012). Science entered with the result that the material make-up of the works precluded that they were created during the period of artist involvement. Out of 44 paintings, not one survived the scalpel of scientific analysis. This article addresses the conditions associated with the proliferation of wrong calls by so-called art experts and examines how scholarship, Daubert rulings, and Federal Rules of Evidence standards may assist in reducing the bad calls and consequentially art scamming, forgery and fraud.
John Daab was formerly a NYCTP Police Officer and NYU Professor. John is currently a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and a Certified Forensics Consultant (CFC), Accredited Forensic Counselor (AFC) and a Certified Criminal Investigator, specializing in art forensics research with the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ABFEI). John holds Diplomate (DABFE) status and is a board member of the American Board of Forensic Examiners (ABFE), Criminal Investigator division. John is a Certified Homeland Security 1, (CHS1) and a Certified Intelligence Analyst (IAC) member of the American Board of Certification in Homeland Security (ABCHS). John has won awards for teaching management and service to NYU. John has published over 70 articles and recently authored, “The Art Fraud Protection Handbook.” John is currently completing studies in Art Appraisal at NYU, beginning a docent program at Princeton, and has completed a second book, "Forensic Applications in Detecting Fine, Decorative, and Collectible Art Fakes".

July 2, 2012

The Journal of Art Crime, Spring/Summer 2012: Stephen Mihm on "Bordering on Alchemy: A Nation of Counterfeiters"

In the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime, Stephen Mihm writes on counterfeiting currency which has parallels to the story of art forgery.

Mr. Mihm is an associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is the author of A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States (Harvard University Press, 2007). He is also the co-author (with Nouriel Roubini) of Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance (Penguin, 2010).
Few of us question the slips of green paper that come and go in our purses, pockets, and wallets. Yet confidence in the money supply is a recent phenomenon: prior to the Civil War, the United States did not have a single, national currency. Instead, countless banks issued paper money in a bewildering variety of denominations and designs – more than ten thousand different kinds by 1860. Counterfeiters flourished amid this anarchy, putting vast quantities of bogus bills into circulation. This article, adapted from the 2009 book A Nation of Counterfeiters (Harvard University Press), discusses the origins of American counterfeiting of currency, a story that runs parallel to the story of art forgery.

July 1, 2012

The Spring/Summer 2012 Issue of The Journal of Art Crime is now available to download by subscription

The PDF edition of the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime can now be downloaded by subscribers. This seventh issue is edited by Noah Charney and published by ARCA.
Academic articles: "Bordering on Alchemy: A Nation of Counterfeiters" by Stephen Mihm; "Daubertizing the Art Expert" by John Daab; "Looting History: An Analysis of the Illicit Antiquities Trade in Israel" by Aleksandra Sheftel; "The Beltracchi Affair: A Comment on the "Most Spectacular" German Art Forgery Case in Recent Times" by Duncan Chappell and Saskia Hufnagel; and "The Forger's Point of View" by Thierry Lenain.

Regular columns: Donn Zaretsky's Art Law and Policy on "When Photography Might be Illegal"; Ton Cremers on "Rise in Thefts from Museums: Due to Economic Crisis?"; David Gill's Context Matters on "Princeton and Recently Surfaced Antiquities"; and Noah Charney's Lessons from the History of Art Crime on "Mark Landis: the Forger Who Has Yet to Commit a Crime".

Editorial Essays: Joshua Knelman on "Headache Art"; Noah Charney on "Appendix on Forensics of Forgery Investigation"; and Noah Charney on "Art Crime in North America".

Reviews: Stuart George reviews "Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists" by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg; David Gill reviews "Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum" by James Cuno; Catherine Schofield Sezgin reviews "Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art" by Joshua Knelman; Noah Charney reviews "The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century" by Aviva Briefel; and John Kleberg reviews "Leonardo's Lost Princess" by Peter Silverman with Catherine Whitney.

Extras: Noah Charney's interviews with George H. O. Abungu; Ernst Schöller; Joris Kila and Karl von Habsburg; Ralph Frammolino and Jason Felch; Thierry Lenain; and a Q&A on "Art Crime in Canada".  

There is also a list of the 2012 ARCA Awards.