Call for Presenters, 6th Annual ARCA Conference June 28-29

ARCA's Fifth Annual Conference in 2013
ARCA’s Fifth Annual Conference in 2013

One of the highlights of my year is getting to travel to Amelia every summer to teach in ARCA’s postgraduate program, and to organize its annual conference. There seem to be a wave of great art and heritage conferences all over the world now that are helping to promote the field—one that is still very much in its early stages. I want to make a push for what I think is a unique conference, ARCA’s annual conference in Amelia. With many of us experiencing the latest cold snap here in the states, it might be a good time to cast your attention to thoughts of summer and warm Umbrian sunshine. Our conference hopes to promote study of art crime and cultural heritage by focusing attention on the good writing and work being done, and offering a collegial space for folks to come together. Many of us rely on the internet to communicate and interract, so it is a real treat to meet folks you’ve been emailing and reading for years. And best of all the conference offers plenty of time for socializing and taking in the Umbrian countryside. Our panels are organized into groups of 3-4 speakers, with 20 minutes per speaker. Presenters hail from a terrific range of backgrounds including: law, criminology, art history, law enforcement, archaeology, journalism, and others.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal to present, or attending (there’s no admission fee, just a small charge for lunch and dinner) keep reading below the jump for the particulars.

Continue reading “Call for Presenters, 6th Annual ARCA Conference June 28-29”

Raising Awareness With Playing Cards

At the annual ARCA conference this summer in Amelia, a reporter based in Rome, Nancy Greenleese, was able to interview Laurie Rush and Joris Kila on efforts to protect culture during armed conflict, of which these cards are an excellent example.

Archeological playing cards created by US Army archeologist Dr. Laurie Rush and academic colleaguesSoldiers often enter conflict zones with limited knowledge of local cultural and historical nuances. Archaeologist Laurie Rush recognized that their ignorance can make conflicts worse. So she helped create a deck of playing cards that displays photos and messages about cultural heritage in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt. The Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon Troops see pictures of Buddhist statues and tablets when playing poker and other games with the cards. They may discover that buying and selling antiquities is illegal or be reminded to look before digging. And Rush’s concept has caught on: Soldiers from the US and other countries have snapped up more than 165,000 decks. The US invasion of Iraq offered examples of what troubled Rush about soldiers’ cultural knowledge. When American and Polish forces were building a camp in the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon in 2003, they inadvertently crushed ancient brick pavement and marred dragon decorations on the Ishtar Gate. “It immediately occurred to me that a better educated force would not have made those kinds of mistakes,” Rush told DW.

 Though I write about cultural heritage law, I spend most of my time teaching law students. It can sometimes be hard to explain to my colleagues just what it is that I write about, apart from the broad “art law”. So when I was fortunate enough to get my hands on one of the decks of cards which are increasingly being given to troops who enter conflict zones abroad, I thought at once of framing them.

  1. Nancy Greenleese, It’s all in the cards, Inside Europe (2012),
  2. Nancy Greenleese, Archeologist saves cultural treasures with cards Deutsche Welle (2012), (last visited Aug 27, 2012).
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The Fourth Annual ARCA Conference

We have just returned from Amelia and the first five weeks of the ARCA program in Amelia. Last weekend ARCA held its fourth annual conference, and the event gets better every year, a fact evidenced I think by how many folks returned to Amelia for the conference again this year. The event brings together a diverse set of talents, which is necessary given the challenges facing heritage advocates. These dangers include theft, archaeological looting, the sale of illicit objects in the market, forgery, and destruction during armed conflict. And the challenge of course when one begins a conference is to ask what one little conversation can do in the face of this heritage crime. Our hope is to take the conversation and carry it back to our work. As we know, many of these conversations focus on the Mediterranean, and the return of illicit objects there (and even the claims for more returns).

This means of course that many other areas of the World are left under-considered. To open the conference I discussed the ongoing case of a looted statue from Koh Ker which has been seized by U.S. attorneys in a forfeiture proceeding from Sotheby’s. We were able to invite with His Royal Highness Ravivaddhana Sisowath, Prince of Cambodia to give some remarks. He spoke about the importance of these statues to the people of Cambodia, and the circumstances surrounding their removal in the conflict during the 1970s involving the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge. Later on Saturday we were able to present awards in person to three of the very best kinds of advocates in this field: Joris Kila, an expert in protecting cultural heritage during armed conflict who has visited Libya and other at risk sites; Jason Felch, a reporter for the L.A. Times who has continued important work in this field with ideas like Wikiloot; and finally George Abungu, the Vice-President of ICOM and a powerful advocate for heritage protection. His discussion of African rock art was one of the very best discussions of art and heritage protection I have seen.

There were many other highlights—the presentation from Dr. Laurie Rush on heritage protection as a force multiplier was outstanding, and of course the early career presentations were some of the best of the weekend. 

Many many thanks to everyone at ARCA for such a terrific weekend, including Monica, Lynda, Catherine, Kirsten, Noah, and of course Joni. You can save the date already for our fifth conference, June 22-23, 2013 in Amelia again.  

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Paolo Ferri and Jason Felch on Wikiloot

ARCA’s Annual Conference in Amelia

Tom Kington reports for the Guardian on the efforts of Jason Felch to use crowdsourcing to help police the antiquities trade with wikiloot:

Felch now plans to obtain and post piles of material seized from dealers during police raids and deposited for trials which have yet to be published, and let allcomers mine the data for new clues. “It’s all raw, unprocessed data. Researchers can use it, but we also hope the public can use it to find out a bit more about what is on display at their local museum,” he said. . . .

 “We will also need a few hundred thousand dollars,” added Felch, who is applying for grants, talking to universities and promoting the concept this month at the annual conference in Italy of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art (ARCA). . . . 

With an estimated 500,000 artefacts looted from Italy to date, one Italian investigator – Paolo Ferri, a magistrate now working at Italy’s culture ministry – said any attempt to track them down was welcome. He was cautious about aspects of the crowdsourcing concept, claiming that publishing images or descriptions of looted artefacts could push their collectors to hide them better. “They may also work harder to camouflage the origins of their pieces or even access the archive to manipulate it,” Ferri said. “Why not have a password to keep traffickers out?”

Both Felch and Ferri are slated to appear at ARCA’s annual conference here in Amelia in a few weeks on June 23-24. The report makes it appear as if Felch has been invited to discuss wikiloot. He is welcome of course to discuss the initiative, but the primary purpose of his invitation is to honor his writing and reporting. He and Ralph Frammolino will be honored for the terrific reporting they have done, which culminated in Chasing Aphrodite, and the blog which has continued that good work.

Conference attendees will have an opportunity to hear more about Felch’s plans for wikiloot, and though Ferri and others share misgivings, the conference will allow an opportunity to listen and take into account those concerns. One of the aims for ARCA’s annual conference is to bring folks together and foster a productive exchange.

  1. Tom Kington, WikiLoot aims to use crowdsourcing to track down stolen ancient artefacts, the Guardian, June 6, 2012,
ARCA’s annual conference is free to attend, and open to the general public. For any questions about the conference please contact me at
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ARCA Annual Conference, June 23-24, Amelia

In order to encourage continued awareness of the growing field of art crime and cultural heritage protection ARCA will host its fourth-annual conference in Amelia.

The interdisciplinary event brings together those who have an interest in the responsible stewardship of our collective cultural heritage. Presenters will discuss topics including:

  • the display and sale of looted objects; 
  • strategies to combat the illicit trade in cultural property; 
  • current law enforcement investigations; 
  • and the problem of art fraud and forgery. 

The conference will take place beside Amelia’s Archaeological Museum in Sala Boccarini. ARCA’s annual conference is held at the seat of our Postgraduate Certificate Program, in Amelia each summer.

Please find the conference flyer below the jump.

Annual Conference Flyer, 2012

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ARCA Annual Conference June 23-24, Amelia Italy

I am very pleased to announce the call for presenters for ARCA’s Annual conference, to be held in Amelia in conjunction with the summer postgraduate certificate program. I hope you will consider attending or presenting at the event.Call for Presenters 2012 ARCA

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Applications Still Open for ARCA’s Postgraduate program

Amelia, Italy, home to ARCA’s summer program

If you are interested in learning why art theft happens (as occurred earlier this week in Athens) or understanding why antiquities are looted, or a host of other related questions, please consider ARCA’s program.

We have a terrific group of folks already signed on for 2012. Each year our group of applicants gets stronger and more varied. But there is still room for a few more if you are thinking of applying. The program is an investment in time and money, but we’ve done our very best to keep our tuition low, and our past students say their time in Amelia helps usher them into a new career path, establishes strong friendships, and is a terrific way to spend a summer.

The interdisciplinary program offers substantive study for a whole host of related fields from art police and security professionals, to lawyers, insurers, curators, conservators, members of the art trade.

In its fourth year, this program provides students with in-depth, master’s level instruction in a wide variety of theoretical and practical courses examining art and heritage crime: its history, its nature, its impact, and what is currently being done to mitigate it. Students completing the program earn a professional certificate under the guidance of scholars and professionals.

Here is our tentative schedule:

Courses 1&2 – June 04 -16
Noah Charney, Founding Director of ARCA, Adjunct Professor of Art History, American University of Rome – Art Crime and Its History

Dr. Derek Fincham, Academic Director of ARCA, Assistant Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law – Art and Cultural Heritage Law

Course 3 – June 18 – 22
Dorit Straus, Vice President and Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager for Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company – Investigation, Insurance and the Art Trade

Course 4 – June 25- 29
Dr. Edgar Tijhuis, lawyer and assistant-professor of Criminology at the VU University in Amsterdam – Criminology, Art, and Transnational Organized Crime

Courses 5&6 – July 2-14
Richard Ellis, former Detective Sergeant Richard Ellis, founder of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiquities Squad, Art Management Group Director, – Art Policing and InvestigationJudge Arthur Tompkins, District Court Judge in New Zealand – Art in War

Courses 7&8 – July 16-27
Dr. Tom Flynn, London-based writer and art historian –  Art History and the Art World

Dick Drent, Director of Security, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam – Museums, Security, and Art Protection

Courses 9&10 – July 30 – Aug. 10
Dr. Valerie Higgins, Associate Professor and Chair of Archaeology and Classics at The American University of Rome – Archaeology and Antiquities 

Dr. Erik Nemeth, Adjunct Staff at RAND Corporation, Founder and Researcher at Cultural Security – “Cultural Security: Interrelations of art crime, foreign policy, and perceptions of security”

It is a special program, and a really exciting opportunity for folks interested in preventing art and heritage crime. A prospectus and application may be obtained by writing to Admissions at If you have any questions at all please contact me at derek.fincham “at”

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The Third Annual ARCA Conference Last Weekend

Neil Brodie, accepting his ARCA award 

This past weekend ARCA held its annual conference just off the medieval cloister here in Amelia, Italy. As part of the conference ARCA presents its awards to those whose research or work has made a contribution to the field of art and heritage protection. These are nominated by and voted on by ARCA’s Trustees and past award winners.

Two of our award winners were able to make it in person this year. Neil Brodie received an award for his scholarship. Neil joined ARCA for the first six weeks of the summer as a writer in residence, offering lectures to students and working on his next piece. But the highlight of the conference for me might have been the standing ovation the students gave him when he won his award. Neil has of course written extensively on the looting of antiquities and their eventual sale. He has conducted archaeological fieldwork and was the former director of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. His terrific writing on the illicit trade in antiquities stands as a thoughtful and passionate cry for the preservation of a vanishing and finite resource.

Paolo Ferri

Paolo Ferri was also presented an award for policing and recovery. Dr. Ferri has been a prominent figure in the return of many looted antiquities from North American public and private collections. He now serves as an expert in international relations and recovery of works of art for the Italian Culture Ministry. This was Ferri’s first award for all of his work. The man who played such a large role in the return of so many beautiful antiquities to Italy had a quiet and direct manner and throughout the weekend was quick with a smile. He offered some interesting suggestions for future policy, including an International Art Court, but what struck me more than anything was his almost polite insistence for obeying legal and ethical principles. 

The other award winners who were unable to attend were Lord Colin Renfrew, and Prof. John Henry Merryman. 

Lord Renfrew has been a tireless voice in the struggle for the prevention of looting of archaeological sites, and one of the most influential archaeologists in recent decades. At Cambridge he was formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and a Senior Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Prof. Merryman is a renowned expert on art and cultural property law who has written beautifully about art and heritage for many years. He currently serves as an Emeritus Professor at Stanford Law School. He adds this award to his impressive list of awards, including the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and honorary doctorates from Aix-en Provence, Rome (Tor Vergata), and Trieste. His textbook Law, Ethics, and the Visual Arts, first published in 1979 with Albert Elsen, stands as the leading art law text. His writings have shaped the way we think about art and cultural disputes, and have added clarity and rigor to a field he helped pioneer.

Joni on the left, during a break  on Saturday

It was a terrific conference thanks in large part to Joni’s terrific planning, and I hope she’ll forgive me for dragging her into this undertaking. Thanks as well go to the ARCA staff who worked very hard to make things run smoothly, all of the presenters, students and attendees. These folks made for a super weekend.

Many of these issues can quickly get contentious, but the weekend allowed for plenty of opportunities for discussion, polite disagreement, and conversation. Next year’s conference will likely be a few weeks earlier, in June, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

For those who are interested, the schedule of presentations is posted below the jump:

Friday, July 8th

7:00 pm Welcome Event: Cocktails at Palazzo Farratini

Saturday, July 9th (Sala Boccarrini)

8:00 am – Conference Registration
8:30 am – Opening Remarks

9:00 am – 10:30 am Harmonising Police Cooperation and Returns
9:00 am – 9:20 am Arthur Tompkins, “Paying a Ransom: The Theft of 96 Rare Medals and the Reward Payments”
9:20 am – 9:40 am Ludo Block, “European Police Cooperation on Art Crime”
9:40 am – 10:00 am Saskia Hufnagel, “Harmonising Police Cooperation in the Field of Art Crime in Australia and the European Union”
10:00 am – 10:20 am Panel Discussion and Questions from the Audience

10:20 am – 10:40 am Coffee Break

10:40 am – 12:00 pm Perspectives on Forgery and the Local Impact of Heritage Crime
10:40 am – 11:00 am Laurie Rush, “Art Crime; Effects of a Global Issue at the Community Level”
11:00 am – 11:20 am Duncan Chappell, “Forgery of Australian Aboriginal Art”
11:40 am – 12:00 pm Panel Discussion and Questions from the Audience

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch Break and Snacks in the Cloister

1:00 pm – 2:40 pm Historical Perspectives on Looting and Recovery
1:00 pm – 1:20 pm Maria Elena Versari, “Iconoclasm by (Legal) Proxy: Restoration, Legislation and the Ideological Decay of Fascist Ruins”
1:20 pm – 1:40 pm Annika Kuhn, “The Looting of Cultural Property: A View from Classical Antiquity”
1:40 pm – 2:00 pm Elena Franchi, “Under the Protection of the Holy See: The Florentine Works of Art and Their Moving to Alto Adige in 1944”
2:00 pm – 2:20 pm Charlotte Woodhead, “Assessing the Moral Strength of Holocaust Art Restitution Claims”
2:20 pm – 2:40 pm Panel Discussion and Questions from the Audience

2:40 pm – 3:00 pm Coffee Break

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm ARCA Annual Awards
Neil Brodie
Paolo Ferri
Awards in absentia to Lord Colin Renfrew and John Henry Merryman

4:30 pm – 6:30 Writers of Art Crime
4:30 pm – 5:00 pm Vernon Silver
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm Fabio Isman
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm Peter Watson
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Panel Discussion and Questions from the Audience

8:00 pm Gala Dinner at Locanda

Sunday, July 10th

8:30 am – 10:10 am Fresh Perspectives on Art and Heritage Crime
8:30 am – 8:50 am Leila Amineddoleh, “The Pillaging of the Abandoned Spanish Countryside”
8:50 am – 9:10 am Courtney McWhorter, “Perception of Forgery According to the Role of Art”
9:10 am – 9:30 am Michelle D’Ippolito, “Discrepancies in Data: The Role of Museums in Recovering Stolen Works of Art”
9:30 am – 9:50 am Sarah Zimmer, “The Investigation of Object TH 1988.18: Rembrandt’s 100 Guilder Print”
9:50 am – 10:10 am Panel Discussions and Questions from the Audience

10:10 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break

10:30 am – 11:30 am Cultural Heritage and Armed Conflict
10:30 pm – 10:50 pm Mark Durney
10:50 pm – 11:10 pm Larry Rothfield
11:10 pm – 11:30 pm Katharyn Hanson
11:30 pm – 11:50 pm Panel Discussion and Questions from the Audience

11:50 am – 12:10 pm Coffee Break

12:10 pm – 1:30 pm 40-year Anniversary of the 1970 UNESCO Panel
12:10 pm – 12:30 pm Catherine Sezgin
12:30 pm – 1 pm Chris Marinello
1:00 pm – 1:20 pm Panel Discussion and Questions from the Audience

1:30 pm End of the Conference

Presenters who were unable to attend:

Richard Altman, “Christie’s Failure to Accurately Attribute a Leonardo da Vinci Painting in 1997”
Ruth Redmond-Cooper, “Limitation of Actions to Recover Cultural Objects”
Norman Palmer 2009 ARCA Award Recipient
Phyllis Callina, “Historic Forgeries”

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ARCA 2011 Annual Conference Call for Presenters, July 9-10 2011, Amelia Italy

Embedded below are the details for the 2011 ARCA annual conference in Amelia, Italy. Each of the past two years the conference has been a terrific event, and I encourage you to consider submitting a proposal to me at derek.fincham “at”

Conference Announcement

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ARCA Panel at the 2010 American Society of Criminology 11/18 (UPDATE)

If you like beer and art crime next week’s American Society of Criminology Meeting in San Francisco will have you sorted.

First, ARCA will be sponsoring a panel titled “Antiquities Trafficking:  Complementary Countermeasures“. I’ll be the discussant for the panel, so I hope if you are in the area or attending the conference you will consider attending.

  • Cultural Intelligence: Data Sources on the Motivation and Means for Trafficking – Erik Nemeth (ARCA)
  • The Difficulty in Using Criminal Offences to Police the Antiquities Trade – Derek Fincham (Assistant Professor, South Texas College of Law/ARCA)
  • Cultural Property and International Relations: Implications in Dialogue – Yasmeen del Rosario Hussain (CUSP, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
  • Honor Amongst Thieves: The International Subculture of Art Crime – Kimberly L. Alderman (University of Wisconsin Law School)
More details on the panel are posted below after the jump. There also looks to be a very promising panel the next morning titled “Cultural Property Crime at 8 am titled “Cultural Property Crime” which may be of interest as well.

And second, that evening ARCA will also be sponsoring a reception at the nearby Thirsty Bear in San Francisco:
Thursday, November 18
6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m
Thirsty Bear
661 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

ARCA warmly invites those in the Bay area to join us for some free drinks, nibbles, and lively discussion about art crime and cultural heritage protection. This is an excellent opportunity to meet ARCA staff, volunteers, and experts and professionals in the field of art crime.  

UPDATE: I’ve updated Ms. Alderman’s abstract and affiliation below:

Panel title: Antiquities Trafficking – Complementary Countermeasures

Abstract: Reports that implicate the crime-terror nexus in trafficking in antiquities warrant closer inspection of the risks posed by the tactical exploitation of cultural patrimony. This panel explores the means of interdiction and diplomacy for countering transnational trafficking in antiquities. The historically clandestine nature of the antiquities trade and disconnect between due diligence and laws governing the transfer of cultural property have challenged countermeasures to looting and trafficking in antiquities. The challenges create opportunities for terrorist groups and insurgencies that operate in proximity to coveted archaeological sites to collaborate with transnational organized crime in exploiting the multibillion-dollar illicit trade in cultural patrimony. Legal cases for repatriations of Greek and Roman antiquities have publicized negotiations between market and source nations and, in turn, have brought greater transparency to the antiquities trade. Simultaneously, increasing awareness of the political clout of cultural patrimony has motivated collection of intelligence on the lucrative market, and insights into the value of cultural patrimony to security policy in source nations create opportunities to compel due diligence in market nations. Difficulties and risks in following through with prosecution suggest the need for complementary methods to counter trafficking.


          The Difficulty in Using Criminal Offences to Police the Antiquities Trade (Derek Fincham)

          Cultural Intelligence (Erik Nemeth)

          Cultural Property and International Relations (Yasmeen del Rosario Hussain)

          Honor Amongst Thieves (Kimberly L. Alderman)


The Difficulty in Using Criminal Offences to Police the Antiquities Trade

Derek Fincham, South Texas College of Law

Abstract: There has been a dramatic increase in recent years in the investigation and prosecution of individuals connected to the trade in stolen and illegally excavated antiquities, particularly in the United States.  The antiquities trade routinely fails to effectively distinguish illicit and illegally-obtained objects.  The current regulatory framework in nations of origin and in market nations puts far too much pressure–and expects too much–of investigators and prosecutors.  This produces a number of negative consequences, including the loss of archaeological context, the illegal acquisition of objects by museums, and the destruction of objects.  This paper will examine the U.S. criminal penalties for dealing in looted antiquities, focusing in particular on the vigorous use by Federal Prosecutors of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act both to police domestic looters, but also objects from abroad which enter the American antiquities trade.  The paper looks at the risks and benefits of applying this federal criminal law in these novel contexts and concludes that many of the reasons for the difficulty in prosecuting these crimes may also make the trade of interest to organized criminals such as terrorist networks. 


Cultural Intelligence: data sources on the motivation and means for trafficking

Erik Nemeth, ARCA, Santa Monica, California

Abstract: Over the past decade, the proximity of coveted antiquities to armed conflict with non-state actors has warranted consideration of the tactical value of cultural property.  “Cultural intelligence” enables assessments of the value of antiquities to insurgencies and terrorist groups. This paper identifies sources of cultural intelligence as fundamental assets in countering looting and facilitating interdiction of trafficking in antiquities. Looting of antiquities in developing nations and targeting of religious monuments in acts of political violence offer potential tactical advantage to insurgencies and terrorist groups. The clandestine nature of the licit, let alone the illicit, trade in art challenges the collection of data on the financial value of antiquities in the primary market. Open-source publications, such as auction archives, that report on the art market provide a means to assess the relative value of antiquities across source nations, and players in the illicit trade offer opportunities for the collection of data on the networks that transfer antiquities internationally.


Cultural Property and International Relations:  implications in dialogue

Yasmeen del Rosario Hussain, CUSP, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abstract:  Dialogue necessarily, purposefully, and effectively influences foreign policy, capacity building, and security.  Governments and civil society organizations use dialogue to voice concerns and highlight issues, thereby affecting public perception.  Government and civil society dialogue on cultural property may counter looting, build socio-political bridges, and encourage national and cultural pride.  Examples of these facilities include the following government/civil society-driven exchanges on cultural property:  Greece – cultural spending requests for monument restoration and maintenance at a time of financial woe; Britain – debates over the effect of returning looted artifacts from Magdala and manuscripts from Ethiopia; Iraq – looted artifacts from the National Museum smuggled through Dubai; Kenya –  repatriation of stolen vigango statues from two United States Museums by the National Museums of Kenya; China – auction of Chinese animal head bronzes claimed by the Chinese to have been looted and refused to be repatriated by YSL/Berge as a statement against the situation in Tibet; United States – repatriation of looted Khmer artifacts and coordination with Cambodian Ministry of Culture; and Mali – solicitation of domestic support to counter looting and create solidarity against outsiders such as Al Qa’ida.  The exploration of these and other instances evidence the potential of dialogue on cultural property to impact international relations, increase cultural understanding, prevent antiquities trafficking, alter political maneuvers, and build capacity.


Honor Amongst Thieves: The International Subculture of Art Crime

Kimberly L. Alderman, University of Wisconsin Law School

Abstract: Government agencies, non-profits, scholars, and advocacy groups alike assert that organized crime has fueled the illicit antiquities trade since the early 1960s.  The illicit antiquities trade has been linked to money laundering, extortion, the drug and arms trades, terrorism and insurgency, and even slavery.  Meanwhile, in the past fifty years, both the international community and sovereign states have increased legislation pertaining to cultural property.  These developments in the antiquities trade beg the question of whether there is a relationship between the increased involvement of organized criminal groups in the trade and the increasingly repressive system regulating that trade.  This presentation considers the connection between organized crime and the illicit antiquities trade, examines known criminal subcultures and evidence of their involvement in the trade, and inquires about a possible connection between the increasing regulation of the antiquities trade and the apparent increase in organization of those willing to subvert the legal system regulating that trade.
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