The Association for Research into Crimes against Art Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection is held annually in Italy.

Late Application Period – 31 January 2023 until 30 March 2023*

As spaces on the 2023 program census are limited, applicants are strongly advised to request and submit their application materials as quickly as possible. Completed application files are reviewed on a rolling basis until the summer census cap is reached, after which, any remaining accepted candidates are placed on the waiting list.

For questions related to participating in this training program, please write to us at:  education [at]


Perspectives on the investigation, prosecution and prevention of art crime


The Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) warmly invites interested postgraduates to apply to ARCA’s PG Cert Program in the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection.  The 2023 edition of the program will again be held onsite, from May 26 through August 12, 2023, in ARCA’s host city Amelia, located in the rolling hills of  Umbria in Italy.

In its 13th year, this academically-challenging, eleven-course, 210 hour, postgraduate professional development program will provide in-depth instruction in important theoretical and practical elements related to combatting art and heritage crime. By examining art crime’s interconnected world, participants will experience an integrated curriculum in a low participant-to-instructor participatory setting. 

Each course associated with the 2023 program has been selected to underscore the value of, and necessity for, a longitudinal and multidisciplinary approach to the study of this type of criminal behaviour, as well as its trends and motivating factors.  Designed to expose participants to an integrated curriculum, the program’s courses include comprehensive, multidisciplinary lectures, classroom-based discussions and presentations, in situ field learning modules, as well as “hands-on” learning that includes case studies investigation and development, applied research, and participatory assignments designed to serve as the backdrop for exploring art and antiquities crime, its nature, and its impact on the art market and cultural heritage institutions.

Participants are encouraged and challenged from the outset of the program to develop or further their own scholarly interests, and to evolve as independent thinkers and researchers while simultaneously contributing to the theoretical discourse.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will have a solid mastery of a broad array of concepts pertaining to provenance, art market due diligence, illicit trafficking, cultural property protection, art and heritage law, and cultural security.


During the program participants will explore


  • art crime and its prevalence
  • the preconditions, processes and consequences of art and antiquities crime
  • contemporary perspectives on the detection, investigation, and prosecution of art crime
  • art and heritage law and international legal instruments
  • illicit trafficking and its interconnected relationship with the licit art market
  • provenance and the challenges of recovering looted assets
  • criminological theories and their application to the study of art crime
  • art crime during war and armed symmetrical and asymmetrical conflicts
  • the licit art market and its associated risk
  • art insurance and fine art underwriting
  • the ethics of antiquities preservation and publication
  • risk management and crime prevention in museum security
  • fakes, forgery and deception in the art market
  • the financial and social motivations for art crime
  • art, antiquities, and cultural identity

 * subject to availability and a late application fee.

Courses Scheduled for 2023

NOTE: With the Academic Director’s permission some courses can be audited on a course by course basis for those unable to attend for the full summer, please contact admissions for more details. 

“The High Stakes World of Art Policing, Protection and Investigation”
Dick Ellis
Founder of The Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard, Art and Antiquities Squad (retired); Director, Art Management Group; Former General Manager of Christie’s Fine Art Security Services Ltd, Former Managing Director, Trace Recovery Services

“Art and Heritage Law and Legal Instruments”
Dr. Patty Gerstenblith
Distinguished Research Professor of Law, DePaul University
Faculty Director, DePaul University Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law

“Unravelling the Complicated Market of Illicit Antiquities”
Dr. Samer Abdel Ghafour
International Coordinator for Capacity Evaluation and Development Cooperation, ARCA; Adjunct Professor, American University of Rome; Founder, ArchaeologyIN

“Practical Approaches to Safeguarding Culture: Security Measures and Risk Assessment for Museums and Cultural Heritage Sites”
Ibrahim Bulut
Ibrahim Bulut, Museum Safety and Security and Site Architecte de votre sécurité
Expertise & Security Consultants

“Provenance Research, Theory and Practice”
Marc J. Masurovsky
Co-founder, Holocaust Art Restitution Project

“Discarded, Discovered, Collected: The Ethics of Antiquities Preservation and Publication”
Dr. Roberta Mazza
Associate Professor
Dipartimento di Beni Culturali
Università di Bologna

“The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers and Thieves”
Dr. Noah Charney
Founding Director, ARCA; Author, Journalist, and Art History and Criminology Lecturer, W. W. Norton & Company, Phaidon, Simon & Schuster, ArtInfo, The Daily Beast, The Guardian, Wired

“How to Analyze their Crimes Empirically”
Dr. Edgar Tijhuis
Professor of Criminology                                ARCA Academic Director

“Tracking Stolen Art: Progress, Prospects and Limitations of Databases for Stolen Art”
Lynda Albertson
Chief Executive Officer, ARCA
Lead – ARCA Transnational Crime Mapping Project

Dr. Marcel Marée
Assistant Keeper, Egypt and Sudan,
The British Museum

Stefano Alessandrini
ARCA, Forensic Antiquities Analyst
Consultant, Ministero della cultura, Italia

“Insurance Claims and the Art Trade”
Dorit Straus
Independent Insurance Consultant; Vice President and Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager for Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company (retired); Board of Directors of AXA Art Americas Corporation; Board of Directors: the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)

“Antiquities and Identity”
Dr. Valerie Higgins
Program Director MA Sustainable Cultural Heritage, American University of Rome; Associate Professor of Archaeology, American University of Rome


* NB: While the 2023 academic schedule has been confirmed, activities may be changed and lecturers substituted, or the order of teaching revised in exceptional circumstances related to health and or pandemic related restrictions.

Important Dates

November 01, 2022 through January 15, 2023 – Early and General Application Period
January 16, 2023 through February 15 2023 – Late Application Period (Subject to remaining census.)
April 01, 2023 – Advance Reading Assigned
May 26, 2023 – Students Arrive in Amelia
May 27-28, 2023 – Orientation
May 29, 2023 – Courses Begin
June 23-25, 2023 – ARCA’s Annual Summer Art Crime Conference
August 09, 2023 – Onsite courses conclude
August 10-11, 2023 – Housing Check-out**
November 15, 2023 – Capstone Research/Thesis Submission Deadline

**Some students choose to relax for a few days after the core program concludes to travel, or to participate in the city’s Palio dei Colombi, Notte Bianca and Italy’s Ferragosto festivities through August 15th.


 To be sent a detailed prospectus and application materials this Autumn, or for general questions about this postgraduate program, please contact us at: