Showing posts with label ARCA 2015. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ARCA 2015. Show all posts

December 16, 2015

Meet the 2015 Students of ARCA - Jess Kamphuis

How did you hear about ARCA? What were your motivations behind applying to the post-graduate program?

As an undergrad, I combined security studies and art history; it’s rare to find a program in which I can pursue both of these disciplines. I also spent last summer studying cultural protection in Malta, and visited Amelia to attend ARCA’s annual art crime conference. My experience at the conference this year was actually really different, having also attended the year before: instead of frantically trying to absorb all the knowledge and information being presented on, I found the content this year much more approachable, and could focus on networking.

How does your academic background correlate with the work you are doing in the program?

As a recent graduate, in school I studied cultural discourse and security studies with a minor in art history. After the program, I will leave for England to get my masters in transnational security. I approach cultural discourse as a theoretical construct, as a means of understanding how ideas and people move throughout the world and interact. Security studies is likewise a way of observing how power constructs are formed, how nations and resistance movements are established, and the ways in which people agreeing or not agreeing about things shapes culture, identity, and a subsequent need for varied approaches to security. A lot of my work focuses on subcultures and parallel political systems.

In the program, I have researched and studied cultural heritage trafficking and how the appropriation of someone else’s culture can create funding for criminal activity. This lack of regulation in the art market contributes to self regulation, where individuals or groups of individuals create their own policy. I find this fascinating in relation to resistance movements and the ways in which war and conflict influence art.

Can you briefly describe your understanding of the connection between art and war?

Well art has always been an integral part of war. War is used to define oneself against another, while art is valued reflection of history and culture. Art is at the basis of what war and conflict is aiming to disrupt through the destruction of people and their culture.

What has been your favorite thing about the program? About living in Amelia?

About the program? Definitely everyone that’s here. Professors and students alike are engaging in varied, interdisciplinary fields; not everyone comes from an art history background. I’m used to a competitive honors program, where people were worried about the theft of intellectual property and ensuring they were the most successful student in the course. There’s support here in the ARCA classroom; everyone is coming from different perspectives, wants everyone to succeed, and are happy to be resources in their respective fields.

I think Amelia is a small town that is intimate but dynamic, and definitely conducive to providing an ideal academic environment. It’s easy to slip by as an unnoticed foreigner in a big city, but here people get to know you and give you space to express your own originality.


ARCA is accepting applications for the 2016 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.  For more information on how to apply, please click here. 

December 15, 2015

Meet the 2015 Students of ARCA - Ashley Menante

Ashley joins us from the United States where she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology. She later went on to complete her master’s degree in Biological Anthropology from Cambridge. Prior to starting the ARCA program, she was working as an archaeologist doing contract work in Nevada.

How did you first hear about ARCA and its certificate program?

I had just finished my master’s degree and was investigating different PhD programs in archaeology and cultural heritage management. I was living in Nevada at the time working as a contract archaeologist while interning at the Nevada Museum of Art. I decided that I wanted to gain more experience before started my PhD and I came across ARCA. I felt that the program would be beneficial in giving me experiences and training that would help me with my career and educational goals. I also believed that it would not just change me professionally, but personally as well.

How has the ARCA program measured up to your expectations?

The program has surpassed my expectations. The administrators are very helpful and I have made lifelong contacts and friends with those from the program as well as the conference. The other students come from a diversity of backgrounds, but we all share a common thread of passion for this subject. 

What has been your favorite part of the ARCA program?

My favorite aspect has been the opportunity to explore so many areas of study while in class.

What do you enjoy most about the city of Amelia?
My favorite aspect of Amelia is definitely the people, you feel like you’re home anytime you enter a shop. They know who you are and they are excited that you are here. It is also a good place to relax, be creative, and enjoy the outdoors. 

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I plan on exploring further the areas that we have covered during the program. I want to contribute to the field by tackling some of the difficult issues and becoming part of the network of people. I plan on speaking at conferences, becoming involved in underwater archaeology, and participating in international archaeology excavations (including projects here in Italy). I am also planning on earning my PhD in archaeology as well as my law degree.

If someone had one weekend in Amelia, what would you recommend they do?
Wander the city, get lost, grab a sandwich from the local shop, and visit the sunflower fields just outside of the city.


ARCA is accepting applications for the 2016 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.  For more information on how to apply, please click here. 

Meet the 2015 Students of ARCA - Samer Abdel Ghafour

Samer Abdel Ghafour is a Syrian cultural heritage specialist whose professional experience includes working both as a museum curator and a field director and chief conservator for archaeological missions in Syria. Samer is currently completing his PhD at Sapienza University of Rome in Philology and History of the Ancient World. 

What were your motivations behind enrolling in the ARCA post-graduate program? What do you value about the program as a whole? 

Each course offered by the ARCA program expands academic knowledge by tackling topics from different angles, while the experience as a whole opens gates and provides networking opportunities. Through the program, I have been introduced to a community of specialists whose work is interrelated with ARCA, its mission, program, academic publications, and journal of art crime. The specialized courses offered develop a platform for engagement that addresses ten different elements, ten domains, ten fields. The specificity of the program supports research and engagement with varied topics that otherwise receive little academic attention and range from sites management, to the conservation of mosaics. 

How does your academic and professional background correlate with the work you are doing in the program?

In 2011, Syria experienced a whirlwind of lawlessness on all levels, including irreversible damage to cultural heritage. Following the looting of open archaeological sites, the illicit trafficking of looted objects, and the destruction of historic monuments and museums, both Syrian and international experts organized several initiatives to mitigate damage to the best of our ability. Improving academic knowledge through participation in this and other programs is an essential part of our commitment to save and protect. In Dick Ellis’ course on Policing, I studied art in the black market and in organized crime, researching methods of tracing illicit trafficking. In Art and Heritage Law with Duncan Chappell, we became better equipped to apply both national and international law, and following Marc Balcells’ Criminology course, I now feel more comfortable addressing organised crime. As crime itself is getting stronger, it is important that we too strengthen ourselves and our knowledge. Amidst the chaos in Syria, we are preparing for the aftermath, trying to maintain stability through networking, documenting damage, and collecting data for analysis.

Networking is a vital component in your current work, correct?

Yes, I use social media as a platform that provides information for the public, not just academics. In July 2011, I attended an international symposium in Berlin in which archaeologists digging in Syria wanted to know whether or not they could continue their work.  Relationships can be ruined by the current inability to dig in Syria, but the loss of these connections can be avoided by communication through a free platform in which awareness is raised and accumulated knowledge is disseminated to whoever is interested. Founding the Archaeology Information Network has not only provided an opportunity to raise cultural heritage awareness, it has also created a space for the collection of data about current damage and has highlighted the good work of others who are invested in cultural heritage protection. I also maintain a Twitter account for those that want to follow my work at @SamAbdelGhafour

What has been your favorite thing about the program? About living in Amelia?

I value the conference itself being held in the middle of the program- it was like a shot of espresso in the middle of the day. The experience solidified and contextualized a lot of the work we were doing in the classroom, providing ARCA students with the opportunity to take the next steps in our respective fields, to network, and to build solid connections and foundations.

As far as Amelia goes, hosting the program here is like combining American academia with an Italian spirit. If our work here is the body and Amelia contributes to the spirit, the two form a living entity, imbued with a depth of historical value from the surrounding environment. The walls of Amelia do not separate it from the natural landscape and cultural heritage surrounding it. These walls, which historically served as means of defence for Amelia, now play the role of  connecting the program to the city and its vivid history. It is a striking example and experience of intercultural engagement. 

Since completing the ARCA summer coursework, what have you been doing this Autumn?

In addition to working on my ARCA thesis I am solidifying the research for my PhD on "Ideologies of the Destruction of Cultural Heritage in the Ancient and Modern Near East" at La Sapienza - Università di Roma with the Facoltà: Dipartimento di Scienze dell'antichità.

I also have a recently updated position with IIMAS – The International Institute for Mesopotamian Area Studies as an Associate Director for Institutional Communications.  Thirdly, I am also working to develop a project a little closer to my home, ARCA in the Levant, a program to bring ARCA's methodology closer to conflict zones.


ARCA is accepting applications for the 2016 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.  For more information on how to apply, please click here.

February 26, 2015

Faculty and Course Schedule for the 2015 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection

 The Faculty and Course Schedule for the 2015 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection in Amelia, Italy has been confirmed** and  the general application period has been extended through March 30, 2015.

For a copy of this year's prospectus and application materials please write to ARCA at education (at)

For more information on this year's program please see this earlier blog posting.

June 2015

Course I  - “The International Art Market and Associated Risk”
Dr. Tom Flynn, Art Historian and London Art Lecturer,
Adjunct Assistant Professor Richmond The American International University in London
Senior Lecturer and Visiting Lecturer Kingston College and Christie's Education

Course II - “Art Policing, Protection and Investigation”

Richard Ellis, Law Enforcement
Detective and Founder of The Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard Art and Antiquities Squad (retired),
Director, Art Management Group

Course III - “Breitwiesers, Medicis, Beltracchis, Gurlitts and Other Shady Artsy Characters:  How to Analyze their Crimes Empirically”
Marc Balcells, Criminologist; Criminal Defense Attorney
Doctoral Fellow at The City University of New York - John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Professor, Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche
Consultant, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

Course IV - “Art Forgers and Thieves”
Dr. Noah Charney, Author, Founding Director of ARCA
Adjunct Professor of Art History, American University of Rome 

Course V - “Insurance Claims and the Art Trade”

Dorit Straus, Insurance Industry Expert
Insurance Industry Consultant, Art Recovery Group PLC
Vice President and Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager for Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company  (retired)

July 2015

Courses VI - “Art Crime in War”
Judge Arthur Tompkins, Forensic Expert
District Court Judge in New Zealand

Courses VII - “Art and Heritage Law”
Dr. Duncan Chappell, Professor
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney,
Former Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology (1987-1994)

Courses VIII - “Risk Assessment and Museum Security”
Dick Drent, Security and Risk Management
Omnirisk, Director
Corporate Security Manager, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam  (retired)

Course IX - “TBA”

August 2015

Course X - “Looting, Theft, Destruction, and Repatriation of Cultural Property: Community Impacts”
Dr. Laurie Rush, Cultural Property Protection Expert
Board Member, United States Committee of the Blue Shield

Course XI - “Antiquities and Identity”

Dr. Valerie Higgins, Archaeologist
Associate Professor and Chair of Archaeology and Classics at the American University of Rome

**While the 2015 course listing has been confirmed as of January 13, 2015, the 2015 course listing and instructor line-up may change,in the event unforeseen circumstances affect the assigned instructor’s availability. 

November 19, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - , No comments

ARCA's 2015 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Accepting Applications through January 1, 2015

ARCA's 2015 Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection is accepting applications through March 30, 2015. 

For a detailed prospectus and information on the application process interested individuals should contact us at: 
Inside the historical center of Amelia

The Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) 2015 Postgraduate Certificate Program in International Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection program will be held from May 29 through August 15, 2015 in the heart of Umbria in Amelia, Italy.

In its seventh year, this academically intensive ten week program provides in-depth, postgraduate level instruction in a wide variety of theoretical and practical elements related to art and heritage crime. By examining art crime’s interconnected world, students experience an integrated curriculum in an interactive, participatory setting. The programs' courses include comprehensive multidisciplinary lectures, class discussions and presentations as well as field classes, which serve as the backdrop for exploring art crime, its nature, and impact.  

Each course associated with the program has been selected to underscore the value of, and necessity for, a longitudinal multidisciplinary approach to the study of this type of criminal behavior and enterprise.

This program has been designed to expose participants to an integrated curriculum occurring in a highly interactive, participatory, student-centered setting. Instructional modules include both lectures and “hands-on” learning in the form of case studies, presentations, in situ field classes and group discussions. At the end of the program, participants will have a solid mastery of a broad array of concepts pertaining to cultural property protection, preservation, conservation, and security.

Students explore such topics as:

                art crime and its history
                art and heritage law
                art crime in war
                the art trade
                art insurance
                museum security
                law enforcement methods
                archaeological looting and policy
                heritage looting
                art forgery


This interdisciplinary program offers substantive study for post-graduate students of criminology, law, security studies, sociology, art history, archaeology, and history as well as art police and security professionals, lawyers, insurers, curators, conservators, members of the art trade.

Important Dates

November 15, 2014 - Early Application Deadline
January 01, 2015 - General Application Deadline
March 30, 2015 - Late Application Deadline
April 2015 - Advance Reading Assigned
May 29, 2015 - Students Arrive in Italy
May 30-31, 2015 - Program Orientation
June 1, 2015 - Classes Begin
August 7, 2015 - Classes End
August 8-15, 2015 - Students Housing Check-out **
Nov. 15, 2015 - Thesis Submission Deadline

**Some students stay a few days to one week longer to participate in the August Palio dei Colombi, Notte Bianca and Ferragosto festivities.

For questions about programming, costs, and census availability, please write to us for a complete prospectus and application at: