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March 1, 2023

2023 ARCA Amelia Conference - Save the Date & Call for Presenters

Conference Dates: June 23-25, 2023

Collegio Boccarini, 
adjacent to the Museo Civico Archeologico e Pinacoteca Edilberto Rosa, 
Piazza Vera
Amelia, Italy

Held in the beautiful town of Amelia, Italy, the seat of ARCA’s summer-long Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, the Association’s 12th annual Amelia Conference will be held the weekend of June 23-25, 2023 with a networking cocktail opening the event for all Amelia Conference attendees and speakers. 

At the heart of the conference will be two days of panel sessions, on Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25, 2023, devoted to presentations selected through this call.

ARCA’s annual Amelia Conference serves as an arena for intellectual and professional exchange and highlights the nonprofit’s mission to facilitate a critical appraisal of the need for protection of art and heritage worldwide. Over the course of one weekend each summer, this art crime-focused event serves as a forum to explore the indispensable role of detection, crime prevention, and scholarly and criminal justice responses, at both the international and domestic level, in combatting all forms of crime related to art and the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

Geared towards international organizations, national enforcement agencies, academics, cultural institutions, and private sector professionals in the art and antiquities fields, the Amelia Conference follows a long-established commitment by the Association to examine contemporary issues of common concern in an open, non-combative, multi-disciplinary format in order to promote greater awareness and understanding of the need for better protection of the world’s cultural patrimony.

2023 Call for Presenters: Session Formats and Topics

Given the success of the Amelia Conference over the past decade, it is important to recognise the growing interdisciplinary and international nature of this emerging field, the growing complexity of art and heritage crime, and the disciplines and subject matter experts who follow along and contribute within their areas of speciality.  With that in mind, this year’s conference will build upon topic-specific sessions designed to stimulate discussion and share learning on a series of topics of common concern. Some conference panels may feature more active panel debate about a session topic, or present various and/or contrasting perspectives about a topic. Each panel session will last approximately 75 or 90 minutes and will include a number of oral presentations with some time dedicated for interactive discussion.

ARCA welcomes presentation proposals related to the conference’s art and antiquities crime theme from individuals in relevant fields, including law, policing, security, art history, art authentication, archaeology, or the allied art market.  Presenters with topics related to the following areas are particularly encouraged to submit a speaking proposal this year highlighting the following issues of common concern:

Strengthening international cooperation in the fight against illicit trafficking, Do MLATs and ILORS work? And is this formality always useful?

Organised crime and illicit trafficking.

Recent successes in the field and what we can learn from them collectively.

The Elephant in the Room: How museums can proactively address problematic art in their collections.

Consciousness raising vandalism as a form of protest in museums. 

Digital and technology-facilitated approaches to combatting illicit trafficking: Do automated web-scraping tools work for combatting art crime?

Solving societal issues using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) – 

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) continues to grow in acceptance and use beyond the traditional military and law enforcement sectors. How has it been applied to combatting art and antiquities crimes.

Recent convictions: Art crime’s bad boys (and girls) and what we can learn from their prosecutions. 

Each selected presenter will represent a coherent and clearly focused presentation of 15 to 20 minutes maximum on a topic of common concern, that combined with presentations given by co-panelists, are designed to provide significant insights into the topic or theme and to stimulate thoughtful, not combative or antagonistic, discourse.

We very much look forward to receiving presentation proposals on the aforementioned or alternative art and antiquities crime topics, noting that panels may change or be altered based on speaker availability.

Abstract and CV Submission Deadline: March 30, 2023

Abstract Word Limit: 400 words, excluding abstract title, presenter/co-presenter names and affiliations

Abstract Selection Process

Each submitted abstract must be accompanied by a CV. The abstract review process will be conducted blind, i.e. all author names will be removed before the abstract before being sent out for peer review. The abstract itself will be reviewed and scored by independent reviewers who have expertise in the specific session’s identified subject area.

Peer Reviewers apply the following criteria to judge abstract submissions 

I. Quality and Originality (1 to 5)

Abstracts containing significant new findings or presenting concretised information or new approaches will be given higher scores than those that merely serve as a chronology of, or modifications to, older findings or routine topics of dischord.

II. Importance (1 to 5 pts)

This criterion addresses the importance of the presentation or research in terms of covering new ground and in advancing knowledge in the art crime and cultural heritage protection field.

III. Presentation (1 to 5 pts)                                                                              This criterion addresses how well the specific research question(s) and objectives, methods used, primary results, facts ascertained, etc., are explained, rather than simply titling the topical subject itself. A clearly written abstract follows a logical order (e.g. aims, methods, outcome of investigation or analysis).


All accepted participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses, however, accepted conference presenters will have their attendance fee waived and will be invited to be ARCA’s guest for the Amelia Conference icebreaker cocktail on 23 June 2023.