Showing posts with label Amelia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amelia. Show all posts

May 17, 2017

Blast from ARCA Program Pasts: ARCA'13 Alum Summer Clowers asks: Is the ARCA program for you? Really now.

A medieval town & its secret passageways
by Summer Clowers, ARCA 2013

WARNING: this essay is a work of satire.  It will be best understood if read in the voice of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, from Downton Abbey.

As an ARCA alumna, I have come to warn you about all of the things that you will hate about this small program on art crime. In that vein, I here offer you a list of the woes of living in a small Umbrian town the likes of which will keep you up at night as you scroll through old Facebook photos.  A letter of warning, if you will, to all prospective ARCA-ites. Should you choose to ignore my advice, I cannot be responsible for the consequences.

Your first few days in Amelia will leave you with an intense urge to explore and make friends.  The town is ancient, surrounded on most sides by a Neolithic wall with even more history buried beneath it.  There are secret passages and hidden rooms and you’re going to want to grab a new-found buddy and sneak through every one of them.  DON’T.  The more you explore, the more you will love the town, and it will make it that much harder to leave.  Yes, there is a secret Roman cellar underneath one of the restaurants.  Yes, the town’s people do scatter the roads with rose petals in the shape of angels every June.  Yes, there quite possibly is a hidden room in your classmate's flat.  All of these things are beside the point.  Walk steady on the path and avoid all temptations to adventure.

As for friends, stick with people that live near to you back in the real world.  I know Papa di Stefano is fantastic, and yes, he will befriend you in a way that transcends language, but do you really want to miss him when you’ve gone?  And your fellow students?  Well, most of them are going to live nowhere near you.  Do you really need to have contacts in Lisbon and Melbourne and New York and Amsterdam?  No, you don’t.  It’s so damp in the Netherlands and we all know London is just atrocious.  I mean really, all those people. Take my advice, ignore anyone that lives far away from you.  You are here to learn and leave, not make connections that will last you the rest of forever.

You will also want to avoid the town’s locals.  Amelia is tiny, so getting to know most of its shopkeepers and inhabitants will not be very hard, but you must resist the urge to do so.  It’s true that Massimo will know your coffee order before you get fully through his door, and the Count will open his home with a smile to show you around his gorgeous palazzo, but these things are not proper.  Do not mistake their overflowing kindness and warmth for anything other than good breeding.  And when you find yourself sobbing at the thought of saying goodbye to Monica, you can just blame your tears on the pollen like the rest of us.

Your instructors are going to be just as big of a challenge.  The professor’s are really too friendly.  I know that Noah Charney says that he’s available for lunch and Dick Ellis will happily have a beer with you, but is getting to know your professor socially really appropriate?  I mean, we’ve all attended seminars where you barely see the speaker outside of stolen moments during coffee breaks, and that’s the best way for things to go, isn’t it?  Sterile classroom experience with little to no professorial interactions is the way academic things should run.  I know I never saw any of my professor’s outside of class.  And I certainly don’t keep up with Judge Tompkin’s travels through his hilarious emails; that would just be inappropriate.

And then there’s the conference.  It lasts an entire weekend.  Why would I want to attend a weekend long event where powerhouses in the field open up their brains for poor plebeians?  I mean honestly, meeting Christos Tsirogiannis at the conference will be a high point in your year, and it will be too difficult to control your nerdy spasms when Toby Bull sits down next to you at dinner.  And then, when you find out that Christos joined ARCA's teaching team in 2014 and you’ll find yourself scrambling to come up with a way to take the program a second time just so you can pick his brain. Think about how much work that will be.  They aim to make this an easy experience where you rarely have to use powers of higher thinking.  This should be like the grand tour, a comfortable time away from home so that you can tell others that you simply summered in Italy. 

And the program would be so much better served in Rome.  I mean, just think on it.  You would never have to learn Italian because you’d be in a city full of tourists.  You’d get to pay twice as much for an apartment a third of the size of the one you rent in Amelia, and you wouldn’t have to live near any of your class mates.  A city the size of Rome is big enough that a half hour metro ride to each other’s places would be pretty much de rigueur.  This means you wouldn’t have to deal with any of those impromptu dinner/study sessions at the pool house.  And there certainly wouldn’t be random class-wide wine tastings at the Palazzo Venturelli. That’s just too much socializing anyway.  It’s unseemly.

And finally, let’s talk about the classes.  Do we really care about art crime? Sure, Dick Drent is pretty much the coolest human you’ll ever meet, and Dorit Straus somehow manages to make art insurance interesting, but really, do we care?  Isn’t that better left to one’s financial advisor?  And the secret porchetta truck that the interns will show you as you study the intricacies of art law, could surely be found on one’s own.  Couldn’t it?  I think we would all be much better served by just watching the terrible Monuments Men movie, fawning over George Clooney and Matt Damon, and thinking about the things we could be doing all from the safety and comfort of our own homes.  I do so hate leaving home.  The ARCA program involves work, and ten courses with ten different professors, and classmates that will quickly become family. It’s all so exhausting.  I mean really, tell me, does this sound like the program for you?

ARCA Editorial Note:  If you would like more information on ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program, please write to us at: education (at) artcrimeresearch.org 

We will put you on the list to receive application materials when the 2018 application period opens in Autumn 2017. 

January 24, 2017

ARCA is now accepting abstracts for its June 2017 art crime conference

Conference Dates 
June 23-25 2017


Conference Location
Sala Comunale F. Boccarini
Boccarini cloister, Amelia Italy


Conference Fees:
$120 for all Saturday and Sunday sessions for professionals


$75 for all Saturday and Sunday for university students providing proof of enrollment in an academic program

ARCA will host its annual interdisciplinary art crime conference the weekend of June 23rd through June 25th 2017.  Known as The Amelia Conference, the association's weekend-long event aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of art crimes and the protection of art and cultural heritage.  As it has for the last eight summers, the event will bring together researchers and academics, police, and provenance researchers as well as members from many of the allied professions in the art world, to discuss issues of common concern. 

Held annually in the historic city of Amelia, in the heart of Italy's Umbria region. Amelia also plays host to ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection and for the first time, the joint ARCA-HARP Provenance Training course, “Provenance and the challenges of recovering looted assets.” 

Topics center on the following subject areas:

• art crime and its prevalence
• art crime during war and symmetric and asymmetric conflicts
• archaeological looting and predation
• art crime policing and investigation
• art and heritage law and legal instruments
• the art market and its associated risk
• risk management in the art world
• the provenance of works of art and their historical record of ownership

ARCA welcomes speaking proposals from individuals in relevant fields, including law, criminal justice, security, art history, conservation, archaeology, or museum security and risk management. We invite individuals interested in presenting to submit their topic of choice along with a presentation title, a concise 250 word abstract, a brief professional biography and a recent CV to the conference organizers at:

italy.conference [at]artcrimeresearch.org

Accepted presenters will be asked to limit their presentations to 15-20 minutes, and will be grouped together in thematically organized panels to allow time for brief questions from the audience at the conclusion of each panel session.

The accepted speaker list will be posted March 30, 2017.

To register for this event and read more about the conference please visit the conference information page on the ARCA website. 

We hope to see many of you in Amelia in June!



January 6, 2017

Conference: Save the Date - The Amelia Conference - Call for Presenters


ARCA will host its 2017 interdisciplinary art crime conference the weekend of June 23rd through June 25th.  Known as The Amelia Conference, the association's weekend-long event aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of art crimes and the protection of art and cultural heritage.  The event brings together researchers and academics, police, and members from many of the allied professions in the art world, who come together to discuss issues of common concern. 

This conference is held annually in the historic city of Amelia, in the heart of Italy's Umbria region.  Amelia also plays host to ARCA's Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection and for the first time, the joint ARCA-HARP Provenance Training course, “Provenance and the challenges of recovering looted assets.” 

ARCA welcomes speaking proposals from individuals in relevant fields, including law, criminal justice, security, art history, conservation, archaeology, or museum security and risk management. We invite individuals interested in presenting to submit their topic of choice along with a presentation title, a concise 250 word abstract, a brief professional biography and a recent CV to the conference organizers at:

italy.conference [at]artcrimeresearch.org

Accepted presenters will be asked to limit their presentations to 15-20 minutes, and will be grouped together in panels organized thematically, to allow time for brief questions from the audience at the conclusion of each panel session. 

Registration

For more details on this event please watch the conference information page on the ARCA website where you can register and where a list of speakers will appear March 30, 2017

We hope to see many of you in Amelia in June!

Key Dates:
Conference Date:  June 23-25, 2017
Call for Presenters Deadline: March 15, 2017

July 29, 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - ,,, No comments

A Carabinieri officer, Amelia residents, and Uganda: ICAD works to provide maternity services to a mission in northern Uganda; Volunteers can attend a course on security

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, 
  ARCA Blog Editor


Luca Del Moro, an officer with the carabinieri office in Amelia, was stationed in Uganda from 2004 to 2008 — however, the hard work of Italian Catholic missionaries in this land-locked African country left an impression on him. Del More is CEO and Founder of ICAD Onlus - International Cooperation and Development Association.

This September, Del Moro will be leading the third course on security and volunteering. The course on security in countries plagued by terrorism will be held for teachers from the United Nations, universities, armies, police, and missionaries. The subjects include radio communication; personal security (working with interpreters; negotiation and communication; security risk assessment; survival skills; weapons awareness; basic first aid; basic self defence; four-wheel drive vehicles (driving, maintenance and map reading); travel, convoy and vehicle security; and Italian Embassy and crisis unit; background, history and cultural awareness; stress management; and making photo reports and interviews.

In July, Ambassador Grace Akello, Head of the Diplomatic Mission of Uganda to Rome, wrote a letter to ICAD expressing her gratitude for the organization’s participation in a promotional event for Uganda’s role at Milan EXPO held on April 27 in Rome.
My colleague Ambassadors who came to the promotional events, appreciated how your organization is helping to building practical capacities in all the areas that you are working in. This means that if ever you were to decide to move out, the people left behind would continue as normal and would not be left bereft of knowledge. Secondly, my colleagues appreciated your statement that you did not go there to change people. They saw this as expressing the right to people to manage their own lives, with your technical input, that also passes on the soft and hard technology. This way people learn from you and make their own choices on how they want to utilize this knowledge in their own communities. This is what partnership is made of. Allow me to take this opportunity to assure you of my highest esteem.
You can find out more information about ICAD through Facebook, searching under Luca Del Moro (http://www.facebook.com/luca.delmoro.33/), or ICAD Onlus (http://www.facebook.com/ICAD.org/)

Giulia Spernanzoni
Another Amelia resident, Giulia Spernanzoni, a university student studying security, traveled with ICAD Onlus to the northern part of Uganda (Karamoja) in February to follow different project and inspect the clinic which will be supplied by “tools and medicines for the benefit of the IK tribe gatherers and hunters” (ICAD).

Ms. Spernanzoni is also a member of the ICAD board. She attended the 2nd Course for Humanitarian Operators, completing both phases in Italy and in Uganda.

ICAD has focused is efforts to help new mothers and their children at a maternity center in northern Uganda. A more modern facility opened in April 2014, but ICAD is working to raise funds for other structures such as the kitchen, the toilettes, and sleeping areas. 

One of the founding members and board members in charge of ICAD, Msgr. Sandro Bigi, passed away in the middle of June, his funeral at the Duomo in Amelia closed down the town as everyone turned out to remember “his big heart and his dedication in helping his neighbors” (ICAD).

In June at the Parish of Saint Maria Maddalena of Torre Angela in Rome, ICAD held a charity dinner to raise funds needed to building a small house for the pregnant women living near the Morulem Maternity Centre (Uganda).

Next September, during the last two weekends (19-20 and 26-27) there will be the 3rd Intensive Course for Humanitarian Operators - Safe & Secure approaches in Field Environments. The cost is 250 euros, included the application and accommodation. The location is the gorgeous “La Tenuta dei Ciclamini” (www.iciclamini.it/) in Avigliano Umbro, owned by the famous Mogol. For more information write at info@icad-italy.org.

June 2, 2015

Countdown to ARCA's 7th Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Amelia, Umbria

Here's a link to ARCA's website for information on the 2015 Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Italy to be held in Amelia, Umbria, the last weekend of June. The list of speakers includes:

“A View on Heritage Protection from Southern Iraq”
Franco D’Agostino, PhD. Professor of Assyriology
Director Iraqi-Italian Mission at Abu Tbeirah
Sapienza Università di Roma
Licia Romano, PhD
Co-Director Iraqi-Italian Mission at Abu Tbeirah
Sapienza Università di Roma
“So How Did We Get Here? Trying to Understand the Reasons Behind the Unprecedented Destruction of Archaeological Heritage”
Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly, MA Archaeology, MA Journalism
Biladi: Heritage for Peace Building (Lebanese N,G.O)
“The INTERPOL Expert Group’s Role in Safeguarding the World’s Cultural Heritage from Crime and the Dangers of Conflict”
Françoise Bortolotti, Criminal Intelligence Officer
INTERPOL General Secretariat (Lyon, France), Sub-Directorate -Drugs and Organized Crime- Works of Art Unit
“Future without a past: the extinction of the cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq”
Paolo Brusasco, PhD., Professor of Archaeology and Art History of the Ancient Near East
Scuola di Scienze Umanistiche
Università degli Studi di Genova
“One Culture, Two Systems : Changing Attitudes to Cultural Heritage Protection and Illicit Smuggling in Hong Kong and China”
Toby Bull, MSc.,
Founder, TrackArt – Art Risk Consultancy
Steven Gallagher, Barrister
Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
“The Italian Carabinieri and the Evolution of its Art Crime Databases”
Salvatore Rapicavoli, Captain
Data Processing Unit Deputy Commander
Carabinieri Headquarters for the Protection of Cultural Heritage
“Connoisseurship in a Globalized Art Market: Reconciling the Conflict Between Artistic and Economic Values”
Clare Diamond, PhD., candidate
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
“Mediation, as an Alternative to the Court for Resolution of Art and Cultural Heritage Disputes”
Pierfrancesco C. Fasano, Attorney-at-Law
FASANO – Avvocati
Ivett Paulovics, Attorney-at-Law
FASANO – Avvocati
“EU = 28 Countries + 28 Legislations = 1 Million Problems”
Martin Finkelnberg, Head of the Art and Antique Crime Unit of the Netherlands
Dutch National Police
“Protecting China’s Archaeological Artefacts Against Looting and Illicit Art Trafficking”
Stefan Gruber, PhD.,
Associate Professor, Kyoto University
“Art Fraud in Germany or How Criminals Become Celebrities”
Saskia Hufnagel, PhD., Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law

Queen Mary University of London
“Siena, Dunedin, Rome: the Tale of Five Macchiaioli School Paintings”
Penelope Jackson, M.Phil
Trustee of the NZ Art Crime Research Trust
“Dealer Conversion of Consigned Art: When Drugs and Greed Make the Art Disappear”
Dorit Straus
Fine art Insurance Expert and ARCA Lecturer
Thomas R. Kline, J.D.
Of Counsel Andrews Kurth, LLP and Professorial Lecturer, George Washington University
Victor Wiener, Ph.D.,
Victor Wiener Associates, LLC, Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York University
“Give and Take: Museum Professionals’ Attitudes and Ethics Toward the Acquisition and Repatriation of West African Cultural Objects”
Meg Lambert, PhD Candidate
University of Glasgow
“A Collection of Thefts: What One Museum’s Responses to Five Incidents Can Teach Us About Ideal Resolution”
Katherine Luer, ARCA alumna and future MLS graduate
Independent Researcher
“Opining on the Authentic”
Philippa Malas, Barrister, England and Wales
Law Lecturer, University of Glasgow and author of the MSc Art, Law and Business at Christie’s Education, London
“The Opaque Market of Egyptian Papyri in a Globalised Context: Sellers, Buyers, Prices and the Role of Academics”
Roberta Mazza, Dr
Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, University of Manchester
“Uncovering the Illicit Traffic of Russian Ancient Icons”
Laure Coupillaud Szustakowski, PhD Candidate
Chief Operating Officer at CAPABILIS
“Perspectives on Crime and Crime Control Policy from the Trafficking Culture Project”
Neil Brodie, PhD
Simon Mackenzie, PhD
Donna Yates, PhD
Trafficking Culture, SCCJR, University of Glasgow
“Sentencing the Art Thief: Deterrence, Responsibility, Protection, Reparation and Restoration – Uneasy Bedfellows in a Courtroom?”
Arthur Tompkins, Judge
New Zealand Ministry of Justice
“Discovering and Visualising the Criminological Value of The Medici Conspiracy”
Christos Tsirogiannis, PhD.,

Research Assistant, Trafficking Culture, SCCJR, University of Glasgow
“Art CSI: When Science Solves the Puzzle of Forgery. The Case Study “Vase of Flowers”, Painting Attributed to Filippo De Pisis (1896-1956)”
Lisa, Volpe, PhD.,
Research Fellow, Conservator Scientist, TekneHub – University of Ferrara, Italy
Marilena Leis, PhD.,
Research Fellow, Conservator Scientist, TekneHub – University of Ferrara, Italy
“Libya and Heritage Protection in the Absence of Security”
Hafed Walda, PhD.,
Research Fellow. King’s College London
Pending Deputy Ambassador to the permanent Libyan delegation at UNESCO
“Art Crime in Relation to Museum Security in the United States: A Survey of Recent Security Measures and Criminal Trends Within Accredited Art Museums”
Christine A. Weirich, PhD Candidate
School of Social and Political Science University of Glasgow
“Europol’s Involvement in the Fight Against Cultural Goods Crime”
Michael Will, Manager
EUROPOL, Organised Crime Networks Group – Focal Point Furtum

May 3, 2015

ARCA's Annual 2015 Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Italy - Confirmed Speakers Announcement

The Association for Research into Crimes against Art  (ARCA) will be hosting its 7th annual interdisciplinary Art Crime conference in Amelia, Italy the weekend of June 26-28, 2015. 

Providing an arena for intellectual and professional exchange, this annual art crime conference highlights the nonprofit’s mission and serves as a forum that aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of the protection of art and heritage worldwide. Bringing together international scholars, law enforcement experts, art professionals, the general public and participants in ARCA’s postgraduate certificate program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection, attendees will have the opportunity to examine contemporary issues of common concern in this important field.

Held in the beautiful town of Amelia (Umbria), the seat of ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. The conference will include multidisciplinary panel sessions, key note speakers, a Friday evening ice-breaker cocktail reception and an awards dinner on Saturday evening — honoring the 2015 recipients of ARCA’s annual award for outstanding scholarship and professional dedication to the protection and recovery of cultural heritage.

This events opens with an optional icebreaker cocktail on Friday, June 26th at the Palazzo Farrattini. For the first time in the conference's history the event will cover two full days of speakers from Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28, 2015 at the Sala Boccarini, inside the cloister of the Biblioteca Comunale L.Lama adjacent to the Museo Civico Archeologico e Pinacoteca “Edilberto Rosa” in Amelia, Italy. Sessions begin promptly at 9:00 am, with breaks for coffee and optional Saturday and Sunday lunches as well as an optional Italian slow food dinner Saturday evening.

The 2015 conference is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Registration for the conference is $75 for Saturday’s sessions and $25 for Sunday’s sessions. To reserve a placement for the each day’s speaking sessions, please register at the event’s Eventbrite page here.

Fees for optional networking meals and activities are payable at registration check-in at the venue.

Once registered, attendees will receive an email in March with information on directions to and lodging in Amelia as well as further details on the costs for the optional networking events planned.

Questions about this conference can be emailed to:   italy.conference (at) artcrimeresearch.org 

The annual award winners for previous years have been:

Art Policing, Recovery, Protection and Security

Past winners: Vernon Rapley (2009), Francesco Rutelli (2009), Charlie Hill (2010), Dick Drent (2010), Paolo Giorgio Ferri (2011), Lord Colin Renfrew (2011), Stuttgart Detective Ernst Schöller (2012), Karl von Habsburg and Dr. Joris Kila (Jointly – 2012), Sharon Cohen Levin (2013), Christos Tsirogiannis (2013), Daniel Rizzo and Maurizio Pellegrini (Jointly – 2014)

Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Excellence in Art Crime Scholarship

Past winners:  Norman Palmer (2009), Larry Rothfield (2010), Neil Brodie (2011), Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino (Jointly – 2012), Duncan Chappell (2013), Simon Mackenzie (2014)

Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art Award

Past winners: Carabinieri TPC collectively (2009), Howard Spiegler (2010), John Merryman (2011), Dr. George H. O. Abungu (2012), Blanca Niño Norton (2013), Anne Webber (2014) 

The list of 2015 award nominees will be posted to the ARCA blog later this week.  

Confirmed Topics and Presenters for this year's conference include...

“So How Did We Get Here? Trying to Understand the Reasons Behind the Unprecedented Destruction of Archaeological Heritage"
Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly , MA Archaeology, MA Journalism
Biladi: Heritage for Peace Building (Lebanese N,G.O)

“Activities and Tools of INTERPOL’s Works of Art Unit in the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property”
Françoise Bortolotti, Criminal Intelligence Officer
INTERPOL General Secretariat (Lyon, France), Sub-Directorate - Drugs and Organized Crime - Works of Art Unit

“One Culture, Two Systems : Changing Attitudes to Cultural Heritage Protection and Illicit Smuggling in Hong Kong and China”
Toby Bull, MSc.,
Founder, TrackArt – Art Risk Consultancy, and
and
Steven Gallagher, Barrister
Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

“Connoisseurship in a Globalized Art Market: Reconciling the Conflict Between Artistic and Economic Values”
Clare Diamond, PhD., candidate
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

“Mediation, as an Alternative to the Court for Resolution of Art and Cultural Heritage Disputes”
Pierfrancesco C. Fasano, Attorney-at-Law
FASANO – Avvocati
and
Ivett Paulovics, Attorney-at-Law
FASANO – Avvocati

“EU = 28 Countries + 28 Legislations = 1 Million Problems"
Martin Finkelnberg, Head of the Art and Antique Crime Unit of the Netherlands
Dutch National Police

“Protecting China’s Archaeological Artefacts Against Looting and Illicit Art Trafficking”
Stefan Gruber, PhD.,
Associate Professor, Kyoto University

“A ‘Vital Source of Funding': Conflict Antiquities in the Syrian Civil War”
Sam Hardy, DPhil Law Studies 
American University of Rome

“Art Fraud in Germany or How Criminals Become Celebrities”
Saskia Hufnagel, PhD., Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law
Queen Mary University of London

“Siena, Dunedin, Rome: the Tale of Five Macchiaioli School Paintings”
Penelope Jackson, M.Phil
Trustee of the NZ Art Crime Research Trust

“Dealer Conversion of Consigned Art: When Drugs and Greed Make the Art Disappear"
Thomas R. Kline, J.D.
Of Counsel Andrews Kurth, LLP and Professorial Lecturer, George Washington University
and
Dorit Straus
Fine art Insurance Expert and ARCA Lecturer
and
Victor Wiener, Ph.D.,
Victor Wiener Associates, LLC, Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York University

“Give and Take: Museum Professionals’ Attitudes and Ethics Toward the Acquisition and Repatriation of West African Cultural Objects”
Meg Lambert, PhD Candidate
University of Glasgow

“A Collection of Thefts: What One Museum's Responses to Five Incidents Can Teach Us About Ideal Resolution"
Katherine Luer, ARCA alumna and future MLS graduate
Independent Researcher

“Opining on the Authentic"
Philippa Malas, Barrister, England and Wales
Law Lecturer, University of Glasgow and author of the MSc Art, Law and Business at Christie's Education, London

“The Opaque Market of Egyptian Papyri in a Globalised Context: Sellers, Buyers, Prices and the Role of Academics”
Roberta Mazza, Dr
Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, University of Manchester

The “PSYCHE” project,the Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale and the Italian stolen W.O.A. database “Leonardo”
Salvatore Rapicavoli, Deputy Commander 
Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale

“Uncovering the Illicit Traffic of Russian Ancient Icons”
Laure Coupillaud Szustakowski, PhD Candidate
Chief Operating Officer at CAPABILIS

“Perspectives on Crime and Crime Control Policy from the Trafficking Culture Project”
Neil Brodie, PhD
Simon Mackenzie, PhD
Donna Yates, PhD
Trafficking Culture, SCCJR, University of Glasgow

“Sentencing the Art Thief: Deterrence, Responsibility, Protection, Reparation and Restoration - Uneasy Bedfellows in a Courtroom?"
Arthur Tompkins, Judge
New Zealand Ministry of Justice

“Discovering and Visualising the Criminological Value of The Medici Conspiracy”
Christos Tsirogiannis, PhD.,
Research Assistant, Trafficking Culture project, University of Glasgow

“Art CSI: When Science Solves the Puzzle of Forgery. The Case Study "Vase of Flowers", Painting Attributed to Filippo De Pisis (1896-1956)”
Lisa, Volpe, PhD., 
Research Fellow, Conservator Scientist, TekneHub - University of Ferrara

“Libya and Heritage Protection in the Absence of Security”
Hafed Walda, PhD.,
Research Fellow. King’s College London
Pending Deputy Ambassador to the permanent Libyan delegation at UNESCO

“Art Crime in Relation to Museum Security in the United States: A Survey of Recent Security Measures and Criminal Trends Within Accredited Art Museums”
Christine A. Weirich, PhD Candidate
School of Social and Political Science University of Glasgow

(please watch this space as a few key speakers are still confirming their travel and presentation titles).

July 24, 2014

FORTE CESARE: lost, forgotten and hopefully found?

Forte Cesare, 2013 (Photo by C. Sezgin)
by Luca Antonini, ARCA graduate and resident of Amelia, Italy

Italy is famous all over the world for its rich and varied material heritage, some of it well-preserved as historical sites of interest or kept safe in rich museums located all over the country; other parts of it sadly neglected.

The abundance of historical, artistic and architectonic elements has always posed a problem of conservation, and there are additional issues such as limited resources and governance. At the municipal level, a lack of clear and enforceable guidelines often contributes to the problem, ambiguity leading to art crimes such as theft, vandalism or destruction brought about by natural events such as floods or earthquakes.

Forte Cesare had always been in private hands until the beginning of the 20th century, when it was added to the assets of the Municipality of Amelia. Recently, the Municipality sold Forte Cesare to a private company with plans to restore and use it.

Forte Cesare is the name given to a group of ancient buildings located on the top of a strategic hill dominating all the territories around it in the center of Umbria, the green heart of Italy. Administratively, the site belongs to the Municipality of Montecastrilli, province of Terni, which is 30 km east of Orvieto, 20 km south of Todi, 12 km north of Amelia and 85 km north of Rome.

Forte Cesare, 2013 (Photo by C. Sezgin)
The site was probably inhabited by the Romans, but the basements of the buildings we see today date back to the VI – VII century AD, when a fortified garrison was established along the path of the Via Amerina, the most important road of the Byzantine Corridor.

One century after the end of the Roman Empire, Ravenna became the capital of the Byzanthine Exarchate (a sort of province of Constantinople's Eastern Roman Empire) which included Rome.  The rest of Italy was invaded by different national groups coming from the north of Europe.

The only safe link between Rome and Ravenna was a little strip of land surrounded by territories occupied by the Lombards, with Tuscany to the west and Spoleto and Marche to the east; it was extended from Via Cassia, a few kilometers north of Rome, and reached Via Flaminia, a few kilometers south of Ravenna. Byzantine Corridor was the name given to the strip, and the road was called Via Amerina, touching the towns of Orte, Amelia, Todi and Perugia. At that time Forte Cesare was a fortified site with soldiers protecting people and goods traveling on both directions, but it was also a station to have a rest, change horses, and stop for the night.

Later on this area became part of Terre Arnolfe (lands under the control of the Archbishop of Spoleto, 10th – 11th century), but no official documents survive until the beginning of the 16th century, when it was sold by the Stefanucci family to the Atti family, a strong Guelph family ruling in Viterbo and originally from Todi.

Between the 16th and 17th centuries, Forte Cesare was radically transformed from a military to a residential complex. Only the tower remained in its original dominant position, while all the other fortified parts were reunited in the new three-story villa.

Until that time, we find the toponym indicated as "Peroccolo", particularly on some maps made in the Vatican in the 19th century but stating the situation in the 13th century. The first time we find it named in relation to a “Cesare” in an official document is on a 1629 map; it probably comes from Cesare Borgia, a leader supporting the Roman Church in the wars between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines in the 15th century, who probably used the place during his military campaigns. This is one of the most credible hypotheses about the origin of the name we still use today.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Forte Cesare was donated by the Bishop Franceso Atti to Propaganda Fide, an organization created by the Pope to support the missionaries’ activities and some “related” ventures, including real estate management. Propaganda Fide immediately rented it out to the Verchiani family, and few years later (1808) sold it to Ciatti family. Angelo Ciatti was the last member of this family; at his death, in 1922, he decided to donate the whole estate to the Municipality of Amelia.

From the beginning, the ownership of the estate by the Municipality of Amelia was problematic.

Angelo Ciatti made provisions for the revenues from the estate to establish a permanent scholarship for poor families and to improve the Boccarini Boarding School in Amelia, and to support local education and charity in general. The college was run by the Franciscans and, since 1932, by the Salesian Fathers, and it was the most important school not only for Amelia, but for all the small villages and town in a range of several kilometers. According to Angelo Ciatti’s philanthropic wishes, Amelia was becoming an educational centre for the whole rural district; other towns with relevant school institutions were too far (Todi, Orvieto and Terni).

Two problems emerged following Ciatti’s wishes according his will: first of all, strong opposition from some distant relatives created some legal and administrative challenges after the estate became part of the Municipality of Amelia. Second, two different municipalities were involved in the same property, though in different roles and positions: Amelia was the legal and formal owner, but Forte Cesare is situated in the territory governed by Montecastrilli. Although this dualism seemed to exist without producing any problems in the first decades, it probably created the foundation for later situations of uncertainty, reciprocal discharge of responsibilities and apparent lack of initiative as to the property's care. After World War II, lands and buildings were rented to farmers, and later on to the Molino Cooperativo, a cooperative firm managing farming and milling activities, originally related to the cereal crops produced in the area.

Particularly after the earthquake of July 30, 1978, the condition of the abandoned buildings deteriorated heavily. Both lands and buildings fell into a slow but inexorable decline, due to theft and decay soon after. Before the end of the 20th century, the asset had turned into a burden for the mayor’s budget.

In 1986, the Municipality of Amelia requested a grant to develop the area through an initiative co-funded by the P.I.M. program and by the Regional Government of Umbria. Forte Cesare was included in three proposals: File A, 20 hectares of land assigned to an ungulate stock-breeding (fallow deer); File D, 120/150 hectares of land assigned to sheep farming; and File E, proposes to restore the villa and other close buildings to establish a training-college for students in agriculture, farming and rural hospitality; a restaurant and a show-store for local products were included in the project. Costs (E file only) amounted to 1.5 billion Lire

The P.I.M. projects were not funded, nor realized. This is the only documented project, made by the Municipality of Amelia, where a rough vision of an integrated solution is sketched, putting together “lands and buildings”. However, the proposed solutions contained a significant flaw: the cultural, historical and aesthetic value of the site was completely missing from the analysis, and consequently, twenty years after the P.I.M. draft project, a muddling through approach caused Forte Cesare – its condition further damaged and abandoned - to be sold to a private company.

When the estate was sold in 2005, no inventory was annexed to the contract. According to Angelo Ciatti’s holograph will, the holdings of Forte Cesare included:
REAL ESTATE
1) The main villa, surrounded by 4 minor buildings, cisterns (this is important because the area is rich of water generally speaking, but not the hill where Forte Cesare was built), a big garden and vineyard surrounded by a wall; 2) the Chapel; 3) Water springs; 4) Croplands; 5) Grasslands; 6) Woods and copses; and 7) Orchards, including chestnut, wine, olive and more. 
OTHER ASSETS
a) Holy vessels, not better specified; b) Furniture, furnishing and fittings; c) Paintings (not specified in number, position, artist and age); d) Other “non social” rural tools (that probably means that, at that time, part of the implements for farming were collectively owned or used, whilst others were individually owned; customs from the Middle Ages still ruled the relationship between landlord and farmers); and e) Cattle and crops.
This list seems to be the only inventory ever made on Forte Cesare’s assets and real estates, a fact that makes its importance profound. The new owner has been working since the acquisition to on a project of restoration of the buildings and economic exploitation of the area. The project has not been approved by the Authorities yet. The Municipality of Montecastrilli, the Province of Terni, the Region of Umbria and Soprintendenza Beni Ambientali, Architettonici, Artistici e Storici of Perugia are involved.

The idea is to create a resort, turning the main building into a five star luxury hotel and restaurant; an 18-hole golf course and a spa will be created as part of the recreational facilities, sport and entertainment components of the resort concept. The project is ambitious and far-seeing, but far from the original heritage.

Luca Antonini originally wrote an academic paper under the same title for ARCA's Program in November 2012. Susan Douglas served as editor for adapting this piece  for the ARCA blog.

Luca Antonini graduated from ARCA program in 2012/3 and has a degree in economics from the University of Torino. Since the middle of the 90's, he has been working as project manager in local and sustainable development projects co-funded by the European Union. He specializes in managing non-government organizations (NGOs).

July 18, 2014

ARCA '14 Art Crime Conference: James Moore on "The Fall of the House of Knoedler: Fakes, Deception and Naiveté"

James C. Moore presenting at ARCA conference in Amelia
(Photo by Paula Carretero)
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin,
 ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

Retired trial lawyer James C. Moore presented "The Fall of the House of Knoedler: Fakes, Deception and Naiveté" in the first presentation of ARCA's Sixth Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Amelia on June 28.

Moore discussed how the Manhattan gallery, which had sold art since 1856 only to fall upon hard times in the middle of the 20th century, had drifted away from selling Old Masters and Cubist art to modern works where the competition was intense to gain access to the art.

Facing bankruptcy by the end of the 1960s, the gallery was sold to Armand Hammer in 1971 for $2.5 million. Under Hammer's leadership, Ann Freedman was hired a salesperson, but when ownership passed to Armand’s grandson Michael, he appointed Freedman director of the gallery with a focus on contemporary and abstract artists such as Rothko, de kooning, Diebenkorn, Motherwell, and Pollack.

In the early 1990s, Glafira Rosales appeared at the art gallery and showed Freedman an unknown Rothko sketch she claimed had been owned by a “Mr. X”, a closeted gay Filipino or Swiss man who had begun collecting abstract expressionist works which he had stored in Mexico – or Switzerland -- with the assistance of a New York art dealer, David Herbert. Rosales told Freeman that Mr. X had died and that his son -- identified only as "Mr. X, Jr." -- had decided to liquidate his father’s collection. And to do so, the paintings would be consigned, one at a time, to the Knoedler Gallery. Beginning in 1994, Rosales bought paintings every 3-6 months for a total of 40 works and agreed to sell them to the Knoedler Gallery for a fixed amount. Freeman would offer paintings for sale at higher prices – hanging the works in other shows by the artists, preparing write-ups, claiming that her experts had viewed the works although they had not authenticated them. In total, the Knoedler Gallery received $64 million for 40 paintings of which Rosales received $20 million.

In early 2000s, a Knoedler Gallery client bought a work ‘by Jackson Pollack’ for $2 million but after the painting failed authentication, the painting was returned and the purchase price refunded. Other similar events followed -- Sotheby’s would not sell a ‘Pollack’ in 2011, and when the owner asked for a $17 million refund, the gallery closed its doors.

The Knoedler Gallery has been named in eight lawsuits, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun an investigation of Ann Freedman, Glafira Rosales, and Rosales’ long-time companion Jose Carlos Bergantiños Diaz, who worked in a restaurant in New York City and sold art in the Chelsea district, along with Diaz's brother. According to Rosales, all of the paintings she sold to the Knoedler were fakes and were allegedly created by a 75-year-old artist, Pei-shen Qian, who was asked to create art in the style of abstract expressionist artists for people who could not afford originals. 

Before Rosales was arrested, Diaz went back to Spain and Qian went to China. Rosales pled guilty for collecting money and paying no income taxes (she sent the money to Spain). Rosales now faces sentencing up to 20 years. She is cooperating with federal authorities possibly in the hope of receiving a lesser sentence. Spain has been asked to send Diaz back to the U.S. to face charges.

Moore posed the question of accountability: 
Was Freedman actively or passively involved in the forgery scheme? No one but the buyers suing her has accused her of a crime. In fact, she sued a dealer for defamation who accused her of lack of care. Negligence (lack of care in verifying a paintings provenance) claims against dealers and galleries cannot be maintained when the parties have a contract relationship. The wording of the agreement between the parties, therefore, will be critical to the success or failure of the buyer's claim.

Moore also discussed the relative responsibilities of the gallery, the dealer, the expert authenticators and the buyer in fake painting claims.  Ultimately, Moore noted that as of this time, Rosales is free on bail, Freedman is running another gallery and is named as a defendant in eight lawsuits, the Diaz brothers are hoping not to leave Spain, and Qian is conducting art shows in Beijing.
  

Moore, an accomplished trial lawyer and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is also a student of art history. http://www.jamesconklinmoore.com/

July 16, 2014

Talking Looted Antiquities and Becchina archive over espresso with Christos Tsirogiannis, ARCA's 2014 Writer-in-Residence, at Amelia's Bar Leonardi

The patio of Bar Leonardi in Amelia
By Catherine Schofield Sezgin, 
 ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

One of the benefits of holding the ARCA program each summer in the Umbrian town of Amelia is Bar Leonardi, an establishment that offers drinks on a patio fit for either sun or shade, a great view of the Porta Romana, and a view of everyone entering or leaving town. It has comfortable tables where ARCA's 2014 Writer-in-Residence Christos Tsirogiannis and I parked ourselves one morning after the ARCA Conference to discuss the context and scope of the work he does in identifying suspected looted antiquities that have re-surfaced in galleries, sales catalogues, and museum exhibits after 1970 (This post is an edited summary of our discussion).

Christos is the Greek forensic archaeologist that investigative reporter Nikolas Zirganos mentions in the 2007 version of The Medici Conspiracy (Peter Watson & Cecilia Todeschini); he accompanied Greek police on the raids of the home of Marion True on the island of Paros in March 2006 and the home of Robin Symes on the island of Schinousa in April 2006 (“Operation Eclipse”). Greek police found Polaroid photos, professional photographs and documents that have led investigators in Greece and Italy to recover hundreds of objects from American museums and auction houses. This was achieved by tracing the objects from the inventory of dealers suspected of selling ancient objects illegally dug out of Etruscan, Greek and Roman tombs and archaeological sites, as defined by UNESCO’s 1970 convention signed by almost 200 countries agreeing that such activity should not be condoned by legitimate art dealers or museums.

The Becchina archive was confiscated by the Italian and Swiss authorities in Basel in 2000 and 2002, Although you do not have a digital copy of the archives, you are given access to them by journalists who have the digital copies, whenever you want to search. Why have you not published these images so that anyone in the world with access to the database can join in the recovery efforts to return looted antiquities?

Christos Tsirogiannis: One thing that is important to understand is that these three archives (Medici, Becchina, and Symes-Michaelides) containing Polaroids, photographs and receipts, were obtained by the Greek and Italian states. Therefore, this material belongs to those countries and aids them in prosecuting these cases and in recovering objects from museums and auction houses. They are not my property and, thus, it is not my right to publish them.

Secondly, it is possible that if these archives (Medici, Becchina, Symes) were published online, then those people who have the objects – either in their homes or in the basements of museums – may want to avoid being accused of purchasing stolen antiquities and would either sell those items to collectors who do not care about their collecting history – or possibly destroy those objects to avoid confiscation or arrests.

The photographic evidence shows dirty or broken objects dug out of the ground. We do not know where most of these objects are. I have matched, so far, about 850 objects depicted in about 1,800 images, of objects thought to have been illegally sold, and thousands more have yet to be located. These photographs are the starting point of the research. When the objects show up in an exhibition or a sale, we can collect any information published with that object and try to describe how these networks of illicit antiquities operated on the market. But if the people who have the objects today realize that their objects have been identified as stolen, they may hide those objects and we will have no further information.

The most important objective is to tell the story of how these pieces were looted and entered into private collections and museums who must have known or suspected they were looted, smuggled or stolen.

How did people become aware that even after UNESCO’s 1970 Convention for the protection of cultural property, antiquities continued to be illicitly sold?

CT: Chippindale and Gill wrote in 1993 an important paper that pointed out that 90% of the known Cycladic figures in collections around the world had no recorded history prior to 1970 and thus one could infer that they had been freshly dug out of the ground or were fakes. Then in 2000, Chippindale and Gill demonstrated that most ancient objects in the most well-known private collections had no collecting history prior to 1970. A few years later, Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini published The Medici Conspiracy, which told how Italian and Greek police had uncovered a criminal network involved in digging up ancient objects from Italy and Greece, laundering them in Switzerland and through auction houses, mainly in London, and then selling them to collectors and museums throughout the world. The Medici Conspiracy was followed by Sharon Waxman’s Loot, Vernon Silver’s The Lost Chalice, and Felch and Frammolino’s Chasing Aphrodite, which showed a pattern of purchasing ancient objects that had weak or nonexistent collecting histories – a cover up for looted antiquities.

Despite the publication of these books, is it common knowledge that criminals extract ancient objects from tombs and archaeological sites and then sell those same objects through the art market to collectors and museums? Three decades ago the Getty Villa displayed Greek and Roman objects without explaining how such objects got to Malibu, California. And today many museums display objects that have appeared in their collections after 1970 or are on loan anonymously in the last year or two but provide no other information as to how these objects made it to the museums in Pasadena or Chicago or New York. Is this part of your work, to create a consciousness in viewers to ask such questions while they are admiring the pottery of the Greeks or the bronze figurines of the Etruscans?

CT: It is everyone’s responsibility to inform the people about the wrongdoings that are still on-going in the antiquities market and, subsequently in the antiquities collections of the most well-known private and state museums. Then, an informed visitor will have the ability to understand why an institution fails to provide basic information on the collecting history of the antiquities on exhibition.

Christos, what has happened in the pursuit of criminal charges against antiquities dealers Robin Symes and Giacomo Medici?

CT: Medici has been convicted of conspiring to sell looted antiquities and ordered to pay 10 million- Euro fine – although he was sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment, according to the Italian law he will serve no time in jail in Italy because he is over 70 years old.

As for Robin Symes, the Greek government has issued an international warrant for his arrest, but the British authorities have not been able to locate Symes. The Italian government is also preparing a case against Symes.