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Course Description

Contrary to popular belief art crime does not only affect a small privileged section of society. In actuality the phenomenon is rooted in the history of mankind and has great impact on nations as well as individuals.  Drawing on several well known cases and experiences with practitioners, this 3 session, 6 hour, low participant-to-instructor ratio eCourse will give an overview of policing efforts and techniques relative to art crimes in a sampling of source and market countries.

Participants will begin to understand how law enforcement practitioners build and sustain cooperative practices in a subsector of the criminal justice sector that in the majority of cases lacks political backing and sufficient allocation of law enforcement resources to adequately address the complexity of the crime.  Lecture topics will include case histories of criminal actions involving the theft of paintings and the looting of archaeological sites.

 

Key concepts covered include:

➣A look at existing practices of, and obstacles to, police and organizational cooperation when investigating illicit trafficking and other related art crimes.
➣Examples of how some criminals exploit the demand among affluent private collectors in destination countries to create a perfect storm, where the illicit market for antiquities operates hand in hand with a perfectly licit market and sustains a lucrative and growing criminal industry that spans the globe.

 

Course Instructor

Since 2009 Dick Ellis an internationally recognised art crime investigator with over 30 years experience has taught a course on art policing as part of ARCA’s Postgraduate certificate program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage policing.  Ellis served in Special Operations at New Scotland Yard where he set up the Art & Antiques Squad, which he ran from 1989 until 1999 when he retired from the police to become general manager of Christie’s Fine Art Security Services Ltd. In 2000 he was made managing director of Trace recovery services running their database and magazine for stolen art and antiques and in 2005 he joined with security and conservation specialists to form the Art Management Group Limited of which he is a director.

 

What we will explore

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The transition from illicit antiquity to successfully laundered high-valued licit commodity, emphasizing examples from past investigations.

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Key criminal cases that changed how we think about art crime.

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Why stolen paintings are often recovered abroad.

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And lastly, why it is clear that there exists a need for functioning, operational and international cooperation between states when art crimes are concerned.

How People Are Reacting

I took this online course as an introduction to the topic when the COVID pandemic prevented me from attending ARCA’s PG Cert program in Italy. The course gave me an exciting baseline introduction and I look forward to taking their summer professional training program next year.

Sarah Scott

As a university student taking courses in organized crime and terrorism, I wanted to understand better how art intersects with these more well known types of criminal behaviors. Professor Tijhuis and Professor Albertson gave me an excellent overview and I look forward to seeing what other courses on the subject ARCA develops.

Luis Rodriguez