2014 Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference

The Association for Research into Crimes against Art  (ARCA) has finalized details for its 6th annual interdisciplinary conference on Art Crime in Amelia Italy the weekend of June 27-29, 2014.

Providing an arena for intellectual and professional exchange, the annual Art Crime conference is integral to ARCA’s mission and serves as a forum which aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of the protection of art and heritage worldwide and a forum to highlight the work of important achievers in this field.


This interdisciplinary event brings together those who have an interest in the responsible stewardship of our collective cultural heritage. Past year’s presenters have discussed a variety of topics ranging from 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.

ARCA’s annual  conference  takes  place  in Umbria in the city of Amelia, the seat of ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.   The two-day conference event is held within Amelia’s Sala Boccarini inside the cloister which also houses the city’s Archaeological Museum.

During each year’s event, ARCA presents its annual awards to outstanding individuals for their service to cultural heritage protection and research.

The award winners for 2014 are:

Art Policing, Recovery, Protection and Security

Dr. Daniela Rizzo  and Mr Maurizio Pellegrini, Soprintendenza Beni Archeologici Etruria Meridionale – Villa Giulia

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)

Eleanor and Anthony Vallombroso Award for Excellence in Art Crime Scholarship

Simon Mackenzie, Trafficking Culture project at the University of Glasgow

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

Lifetime Achievement in Defense of Art Award

Anne Webber, founder and director of The Commission for Looted Art In Europe

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

A partial list of presenters and topics scheduled for the 2014 Art Crime Conference include:

Highlights from Recent US and EU Investigations

•    The Fall of the House of Knoedler:  Fakes, Deception and Naiveté
James C Moore, Esq
Arbitrator and mediator of commercial disputes
Formerly, partner and trial lawyer with large New York law firm and
president of New York State Bar Association

•    Hello Dalí: Anatomy of a Modern Day Art Theft Investigation
Jordan Arnold Esq.
K2 Intelligence
Former Assistant District Attorney and Head, Financial Intelligence Unit, New York County District Attorney’s Office

•    The Gurlitt Case: German and international responses to the legal and ethical questions to ownership rights in looting cases
Duncan Chappell, PhD
Lawyer and Criminologist, Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney
Saskia Hufnagel, PhD
Lecturer in Criminal Law, Queen Mary University of London
Rechtsanwalt – Fachanwalt Strafrecht, Hufnagel und Partner

The many faces of the Illegal Heritage Trade

•    Papyri, collectors and the antiquities market: a survey and some questions
Roberta Mazza, PhD University of Bologna
Lecturer (Assistant Professor), Classics and Ancient History, University of Manchester
Research Fellow, John Rylands Research Institute – John Rylands Library

•    Using open-source data to identify participation in the illicit antiquities trade: A case study on the intercommunal conflict in Cyprus, 1963-1974
Sam Hardy, DPhil University of Sussex
Illicit antiquities trade researcher
Research Associate, Centre for Applied Archaeology, University College London

•    The Dikmen Conspiracy: The Illicit Removal, Journey and Trade of Looted Ecclesiastical Antiquities from Occupied Cyprus
Christiana O’Connell-Schizas, LLB University of Kent, LPC University of Law
Baker & McKenzie, Riyadh

•    Stolen Art Restitution Claims and the Exhaustion of Local Remedies: How Foreign-Based Plaintiffs are Able to Succeed Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act
Chris Michaels, JD, Albany Law School
Attorney, Cruser & Mitchell, LLP

The Vulnerabilities of Sacred Art in situ:  Yesterday and Still Today

•    The theft and ransom of Caravaggio’s “St. Jerome writing” from the Co-Cathedral of St. John
Rev. Dr. Marius Zerafa, O.P. S.T.L., Lect. Th., A.R. Hist. S., Dr. Sc.Soc
Founder of the Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta,
Former Curator and Director of the Malta Museums

•    Fighting the Thieves in Italian Churches
Judith Harris, Journalist (ARTnews; www.i-italy.org)
Author, Pompeii Awakened, The Monster in the Closet

Forgery, Fraud, and Bibliomania

•    Would the real Mr. Goldie please stand up?
Penelope Jackson M. Phil, University of Queensland, MA University of Auckland
Director, Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, New Zealand

•    ‘It’s beyond my control’  An historic and psychiatric investigation into the claim of bibliomania
Anna Knutsson MA (Hon) University of St. Andrews
Research Editor Smith Library

Smart Collecting and Connoisseurship

•    What’s wrong with this picture?  Standards and issues of connoisseurship
Tanya Pia Starrett, MA HONS LLB, University of Glasgow

•    The Art Collecting Legal Handbook: a comparative look at Art Law in 30 countries in the world
Massimo Sterpi, Avvocato
Partner, Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati

•    In the Red Corner: “Connoisseurship and Art History”, and the Blue Corner: “Scientific Testing and Analysis” – Who’s right in determining Authenticity?
Toby Bull, Senior Inspector of Police, Hong Kong Police Force
Founder, TrackArt (Art Risk Consultancy), Hong Kong

Cultural Heritage and Armed Conflict, Reflections from Past and Present
•    File Zadar:  New insights on art works taken from Zadar to Italy during World War II
Antonija Mlikota, PhD University of Zagreb
Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Zadar

•     IMCuRWG Blue Shield cultural assessment mission to Timbuktu
Joris Kila, PhD University of Amsterdam
Chairman of the ‘International Military Cultural Resources Work Group’ (IMCuRWG).
Universität Wien,Kompetenzzentrum Kulturelles Erbe und Kulturgüterschutz,Universität Wien, Alois-Musil-Center für Orientalische Archäologie, U.S.AFRICOM

•    A modern look at an Eternal Problem: Sixty years after the creation of the 1954 Hague Convention
Cinnamon Stephens, JD

Perspectives from Holland

•    To Be Announced

Key Note Closing – A Look to the Future
•    Is International Law for the Protection of Artistic Freedom Adequate?”
Eleni Tokmakidou – Moschouri
PhD University of Manchester
MJur University of Birmingham
Attorney at Law at the Supreme Court of Greece

This event opens with a icebreaker cocktail on June 27th at the Palazzo Farrattini.  The conference will be held June 28 and 29, 2014 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 at 9:00 am, with a break for coffee and optional Saturday lunch as well as an optional Italian slow food dinner saturday evening.  This 2-day conference is open to the public and all are welcome. Registration is required, but the conference is free of charge subject to space availability. To reserve a placement for one or both day’s sessions, please write to italy.conference (at) artcrimeresearch.org and provide your full name and names of those attending with you, your email address, and your preference for either or both day’s sessions.