You've seen The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean's Twelve, Monuments Men, maybe even To Catch a Thief and Dr No. Art crime has a cinematic sex appeal, but it also has a dark side. While most people just think of the glamorous, headline-grabbing museum heists (or Catherine Zeta-Jones swiveling her way under laser beams), there are in fact tens of thousands of reported art thefts per year, not to mention the fearsome problem of looted antiquities. The looting and destruction of cultural heritage by ISIS has gotten the world's attention, but the problem goes far beyond that. An earlier plan for the 9/11 attack imagined selling looted antiquities in order to buy airplanes to crash into buildings. It is not just the art that is at stake.
Scholarships to Protect Cultural Heritage from Bad Guys
This Kickstarter project seeks to raise funds to provide scholarships to students and professionals from ICOM Red List countries, nations where cultural heritage is at particularly high risk of being stolen, looted and destroyed. We call these MINERVA Scholarships, and those who receive them will be trained as part of the ARCA Postgraduate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection. Featured in The New York Times, among many other media appearances (heck, we were even name-checked in Dan Brown's Inferno), this unique program, the first in the world to establish the interdisciplinary study of art crime, runs every summer in Italy. Past MINERVA scholars have come from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and beyond, and have brought the skills learned on our program back home with them, to protect their culture and the world’s. ARCA recently ran a training program with UNESCO in Beirut, and has collaborated with major institutions and their representatives, from The Courtauld to ICOM, from the Carabinieri to Scotland Yard, from the V&A to the Van Gogh Museum.
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Support Scholarships and Get Great Books
But while this is a great cause, Kickstarter is about getting cool stuff in return for supporting worthy projects. So, while support goes directly to scholarships to protect cultural heritage, this campaign also supports the publication of a series of books, to be released by ARCA on the sexy (but serious) subject of art crime. Your support will provide scholarships, and in exchange you'll get amazing books. Sound like a good deal?
What Kind of Books?
ARCA was founded by internationally best-selling author and professor of art history, Dr Noah Charney. His books have been best-sellers in many countries, are translated into more than a dozen languages, and one of his recent books was nominated for the Pulitzer, while another was a finalist for the Digital Book World Awards. In thanks for helping this campaign, you'll get to choose from one of two of his books written expressly to support ARCA: The Thefts of the Mona Lisa or the forthcoming How to Steal from the Louvre.
ARCA is also launching a book publishing imprint, which this campaign will help to support. In addition to Noah's books, you can choose from The Caravaggio Diaries by Father Marius Zerafa, Transnational Art Crime by Edgar Tijhuis, Context Matters by David Gill and Cultural Diplomacy in Italy and the Return of Treasures in Exile by Stefano Alessandrini. You can also get free subscriptions to The Journal of Art Crime, the first peer-reviewed academic journal in the field, which ARCA has published twice yearly for a decade.
Studying Art Crime Sounds Cool...What Does ARCA Do, Besides This Postgraduate Program?
ARCA was founded in 2009 as an international, nongovernmental organization that works to promote scholarly research in the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection. The first organization of its type, ARCA seeks to identify emerging and under-examined trends related to the study of art crime and to develop strategies that advocate for the responsible stewardship of our collective artistic and archaeological heritage. It aims to bridge the gap between the practical and theoretical by fostering collaboration among all diverse and relevant entities: foreign and domestic law enforcement officials, security consultants, academics, lawyers, archaeologists, insurance specialists, criminologists, art historians, conservators, and other parties who wish to learn the surprising and interesting ways that different professions overlap with, or are impacted by, art and heritage crime. At the most basic level, ARCA seeks to identify emerging and under-examined trends related to art crime.
ARCA advances this mission through its long-model professional development programs, such as the Postgraduate Certificate Program, as well a number of distilled source-country cultural heritage protection programs, as well as through its illicit trafficking and art crime research. It is the Association’s intent to incrementally shift the values of contemporary society to ensure greater protection of the world’s art and cultural heritage. To accomplish this, ARCA supports and encourages the transfer of knowledge between scholars and allied professionals at the national and international level and sponsors a range of conferences, lectures, targeted fellowships, and capacity-building initiatives designed to support the vital work of these stakeholders.
Similarly, ARCA works to improve the collective relationship with the past by leveraging the knowledge and influence of professionals, patrons, and the public in protecting the world's common artistic patrimony. It also produces theJournal of Art Crime, an interdisciplinary and international, peer-reviewed journal of scholarly work in art crime research that is published twice a year.
Hey, Maybe I’d Like To Attend the Art Crime Program. Tell me more…
This academically-challenging, eleven course program provides in-depth, postgraduate level instruction in important theoretical and practical elements related to art and heritage crime. By examining art crime’s interconnected world, participants experience an integrated curriculum in a participatory setting. The program's courses include comprehensive, multidisciplinary lectures, classroom-based discussions and presentations, as well as field classes that serve as the backdrop for exploring art crime, its nature, and its impact. Participants are encouraged and challenged from the outset of the program to develop their scholarly interests, and to evolve as independent thinkers and researchers while simultaneously contributing to the theoretical discourse. Each course has been specifically developed to underscore the necessity of a longitudinal, multidisciplinary approach to the study of criminal behavior in the art world, as well as its trends and motivating factors.
To ask questions, learn more, receive a prospectus, or apply, write to:
education [at] artcrimeresearch.org
Program courses explore a variety of interrelated subjects, such as:
· The international art market and its associated risk
· The history and scope of art crime
· Transnational crime and the illicit trafficking of cultural property
· Art crime and plunder during conflict
· Antiquities as a means of funding terrorism and organized crime
· Art and cultural heritage law, policy, and implementation
· Criminological theories and application
· Art insurance and fine-art underwriting
· Museum crime prevention and security management
· Art crime policing and investigation
· Motives and methods behind art forgery
· Provenance research
· Antiquities and cultural identity
ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program has much to offer potential postgraduate participants. Previous attendees have come from a broad variety of academic and professional disciplines including:
· Historians and Art Historians
· Provenance Researchers
· Cultural Heritage Ministry Professionals and Conservators
· Archaeologists and Anthropologists
· Art Restitution Researchers
· Museum and Art Market Professionals
· Risk Management and Insurance Professionals
· Criminologists and Law Enforcement Officers
· Investigative Journalists
· As well as recent graduates from BA/BS, MA, and PhD programs.
Participants enrolled in the program are able to meet and work with international experts who are at the forefront of this dynamic and evolving field. ARCA’s postgraduate program is greatly enriched by the comparative perspective of a multinational participant body. Over the past nine years, the program has trained participants from 35 different countries, bringing diversity and a range of international experiences and perspectives into the classroom.
Where is the Program Located?
Amelia, Italy in the beautiful region of Umbria (about an hour from Rome)! Italy is often ranked the second most popular country for foreign study, which means finding a “road less traveled” can be somewhat challenging. It was important that ARCA find a destination for its postgraduate program that allowed participants to form a personal connection with the local people, and to absorb the essence of Italy, while still being able to focus intently on academic studies. Because of this, ARCA’s postgraduate certificate program has been hosted in the centro storico of Amelia since the Association’s founding in 2009. Amelia is located an hour away from the bustle of Rome. Lectures take place in the 14th-century Franciscan Boccarini cloister which provides an ideal setting to inspire creative, intellectual, and personal development.
Nestled in the rolling hills of central Umbria, Amelia is known for its peaceful surroundings and friendly, authentic, small-town atmosphere, which preserves its Italian essence. Here, Italian culture remains unspoiled by mass tourism. Participants attending the program can experience Umbria's breadbasket of tastes while becoming part of the fabric of the community—experiencing life as Italians do, combining tradition, with some of the best seasonal food specialties and a unique atmosphere where ARCA program participants are embraced by our local hosts in the most tangible and direct way possible.
Who Teaches on the Program?
We’ve gathered the world’s leading experts in their related fields to teach in-depth courses, from the theoretical to the practical. Courses include:
The International Art Market and Associated Risk
Dr. Stefano Alessandrini, Forensic Archaeologist and investigator
Consultant to the Avvocatura dello Stato, Italy and the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attivita Culturali--MiBAC--Rome, Italy
The High Stakes World of Art Policing, Protection and Investigation
Richard Ellis, Private Investigator, Asset Recovery, and Investigation
Director, Art Management Group, Detective and Founder, Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard Art and Antiques Squad (retired),
Unraveling the Hidden Market of Illicit Antiquities
Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis, Forensic Archaeologist and Illicit antiquities researcher
Visiting Associate Professor at University of Aarhus, Faculty of Arts, Museum of Ancient Art, former University of Cambridge, Lecturer and Affiliated Researcher, ARCA
Provenance Research, Theory and Practice
Marc J. Masurovsky, Historian and Provenance Research Expert
Co-founder, Holocaust Art Restitution Project, former director of the Provenance Research Training Program at the Prague-Based European Shoah Legacy Institute (ESLI)
Practical Approaches to Safeguarding Culture: Security Measures and Risk Assessment for Museums and Cultural Heritage Sites
Dick Drent, Museum Security Expert, Law Enforcement and National Security Expert
Founding Director, Omnirisk, Associate Director, SoSecure International, Associate Director, Holland Integrity Group, Corporate Security Manager, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (retired)
Art and Heritage Law
Dr. Duncan Chappell, Lawyer and Criminologist
Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney Member, Australian National Cultural Heritage Committee. Former Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Australian Research Council’s Center of Excellence in Policing and Security. Former Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology (1987-1994)
The Minds, Motives and Methods of Master Forgers and Thieves
Dr. Noah Charney, Art History and Criminology
ARCA Founding Director, Adjunct Professor, University of Ljubljana and American University of Rome. best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize nominee, television presenter and columnist for Salon, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Observer and more.
Insurance Loss Claims and the Art Trade
Dorit Straus, Insurance Industry Consultant
Art Recovery Group, PLC, Vice President and Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager for Chubb & Son, a division of Federal Insurance Company (retired), presidential appointee to the US Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC)
Art Crime in War
Judge Arthur Tompkins, District Court Judge, Wellington, New Zealand
Co-Founder, New Zealand Art Crime Research Trust, Author, Plundering Beauty: A History of Art Crime in War
How to Analyze Art Crimes Empirically
Dr. Marc Balcells, Criminologist
Professor, Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche, Consultor, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Dr. Edgar Tijhuis, Criminologist
Visiting Researcher at The Institute of Criminology at the Faculty of Law - Ljubljana, ARCA Trustee, Academic Director, ARCA
Antiquities and Identity
Dr. Valerie Higgins, Archaeologist.
Professor of Archaeology, American University of Rome, Program Director, MA Sustainable Cultural Heritage, American University of Rome
* Contingent on funding and availability, ARCA periodically invites distinguished scholars and essayists to participate as guest lecturers and visiting experts. The presence of these additional heritage professionals in Amelia during the summer contributes greatly to the intellectual diversity of the postgraduate program.
Previous Visiting Scholars and Lecturers have included:
Dr. Neil Brodie, Senior Research Fellow on the Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project at the University of Oxford
Morgan Belzic, French historian, archaeologist, and illicit trafficking researcher of the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris
Paolo Giorgio Ferri, Prosecutor for the Republic of Italy - Tribunal of Rome
Maurizio Fiorilli, Emeritus, Vice Avvocato Generale dello Stato
Dr. Samuel A. Hardy, Adjunct Professor and Conflict Antiquities Research Archaeologist
Fabio Isman, Investigative Reporter and Journalist covering Antiquities and Cultural Heritage Protection
Lt. Fabrizio Rossi, Italian Comando Carabinieri per la Tutela del Patrimonio Culturale (Retired). Previously seconded to the Works of Art Unit, INTERPOL, Lyon; Lecturer and advisor, ARCA
Dr. Laurie Rush, Cultural Resource Manager, U.S. Army Cultural Research Center, Installation Management Command (IMCOM)
Want to See a Sample Lecture by ARCA Founder, Professor Noah Charney?
Art Crime Conference
Each year during the summer programming, ARCA hosts its annual interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference in Amelia. Providing an arena for intellectual and professional exchange, this international conference highlights the organization's mission and serves as a forum that aims to facilitate a critical appraisal of the protection of art and heritage worldwide. Bringing together expert scholars, law enforcement authorities, art professionals, participants in ARCA’s postgraduate certificate program, and the general public, attendees have the opportunity to examine contemporary issues of common concern in this important field.
What’s The Journal of Art Crime?
The Journal of Art Crimeis the first world’s peer-reviewed academic journal in the subject of the study of art crime and cultural heritage protection. First published in 2009 and having just released its 20th twice-yearly issue, it has been cited in numerous major publications, including The Washington Post and The Guardian. It presents the leading scholarship in the subject and related fields, from museum security to art law to archaeological trafficking and beyond. (To subscribe or submit to the Journal of Art Crime, click here).
ARCA and Its Staff Are Regularly Featured in the Media as Leading Experts in the Field. Like here, for instance...
What Past Graduates Have Said About the ARCA Program
“ARCA can free you from tunnel vision and open up access to pockets of your field that you have never thought of before.”
~ Marissa Marjos, ARCA alumna
“I created long lasting relationships with the participants in my course, my professors, and other highly regarded experts in the field, who have since played key roles in the development of my work.”
~ Angelina Giovani, Art Provenance Researcher, Flynn & Giovanni
"Immersing myself in ARCA’s summer program was one of the best experiences of my life. Fruitful, exciting, unfailingly interesting. Being a senior citizen welcomed by mostly youthful classmates was a joy itself."
~ Gerald Fitzgerald, Criminal Defense Attorney
“ARCA transformed my interest in art crime into a veritable passion. I love sharing all the knowledge I have acquired with my students and colleagues who are now almost as fired up about fighting art crime as I am! I am eternally grateful to ARCA for opening up this whole new world to me. I have no doubt that this rare expertise will give me a unique professional edge and enable me to make meaningful contributions to the field in the future.”
~ Dr. Suzette Scott, History of Art Professor
"The ARCA program is a must-do and Amelia is a gem of a city that never ceases to amaze you."
~ Sneha Shah, Piramal Museum of Art, India
"Amelia is beautiful and ARCA offers a wonderful opportunity to meet other people interested in studying art crime."
~ Emily Olsen, Spy Museum, Washington, D.C.
"What ARCA is doing is the best way to understand art as part of our life, in the context of archaeological, political, aesthetics and more."
~ Dr. Amir Doshi, Iraqi Archaeologist
"I was an ARCA Scholar in 2017, and I work for the Ministry of Antiquities in Damascus, Syria. ARCA gave me the opportunity to work on the most important issue for me, which was stolen Syrian artifacts that can now be found all over the world. It is thanks to ARCA that I am now working on recovering these artifacts on behalf of my country. Thanks to ARCA for the wonderful opportunity. "
~ Dima Achkar. Ministry of Antiquities, Syria
I Like the Idea of Supporting a Good Cause and Getting Cool Books in Return. Tell Me More About the Books.
TRANSNATIONAL CRIME AND THE ILLICIT ART AND ANTIQUITIES TRADE
How does transnational crime interact with legal companies and governments? Are legal actors primarily victimized by transnational criminals or are the two connected by collaborative relationships? And how are these crimes transformed into legitimate activities?
This book seeks to answer these and related questions. Its main topic is the transnational illicit art and antiquities trade, based on a thorough empirical study of data gathered in France, Italy, the Netherlands and other places. Added to this is an analysis of the way legal and illegal actors interact around all kind of crimes, from terrorism to drug trafficking, cigarette smuggling, trade in ‘blood diamonds’ and covert operations of intelligence agencies around the world. After reading this book, one will never think the same about transnational crime and the illicit art and antiquities trade as most interesting part of it.
Edgar Tijhuis is the academic director of ARCA and visiting researcher at the Institute of Criminology in Ljubljana. He got his PhD at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and he holds masters degrees in Political Science, American studies and Law from the University of Amsterdam. Edgar Tijhuis has been studying art crime for over fifteen years and regularly publishes on a range of topics.
ITALIAN CULTURAL DIPLOMACY FOR THE RETURN OF ARTWORKS IN EXILE
Italian artistic and archaeological heritage has been battered for centuries by the looting that has followed foreign army invasions, and by the collecting of art, a practice itself which has had a history full of intrigue and criminal activity.
In the 20th century, this devastation continued. Museums and foreign collectors acquired thousands of masterpieces of ancient and modern art, and an enormous quantity of stolen archaeological finds, in total disregard of the Italian laws and international conventions on the matter. Italy suffered these terrible losses for years before finally creating operational guidelines and processes aimed at recovering these artistic heritage objects "in exile."
Investigations on the international trafficking of illegally excavated objects -- which has additionally caused the destruction of countless archaeological sites -- yielded astonishing data. This moved the State, two decades ago, to finally launch a decisive action of cultural diplomacy and to begin international negotiations related to stolen cultural heritage (mainly ancient works of art). The State's Attorney, representing MiBACT, conducted the operations together with the justice system and law enforcement agencies. In addition, numerous scholars aided in the process, developing scientific reports that led to the successful conclusion of long and complex negotiations.
To date, negotiations for the return of cultural heritage objects have yielded satisfying and even exceptional results. Extraordinary ancient masterpieces have returned to our country, helping reawaken public interest in the protection of our artistic patrimony and the fight against the illicit trafficking of Italian archaeological objects.
The future still holds unknowns and obstacles that will be difficult to overcome. Foreign museums, major collectors and well-known dealers, for example, continue to attempt to oppose legitimate Italian requests for object repatriation. But the path of Italian cultural diplomacy is now firmly established: the fight for the recovery of our artworks has shown the world the importance of our cultural heritage in preserving our national identity.
Stefano Alessandrini is head of Italy's Archaeological Group and special assistance to the Advocate General and Ministry of Culture. This book was originally published in Italian and the English edition will be translated by Crispin Corrado.
CONTEXT MATTERS: COLLECTING THE PAST
Context Matters is based on the twenty essays contributed to the Journal of Art Crime over its first ten years. They are supplemented by articles and review articles that were published alongside them. The chapters were written as museums in Europe and North America were facing a series of claims on recently acquired objects in their collections in the light of the photographic dossiers that had been seized from dealers in Switzerland and Greece. They engage with some of the recent debates over cultural property that include the Ka Ka Nefer mummy mask currently in the St Louis Art Museum, and the Leutwitz Apollo acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art. Two of the essays reflect on the recent and controversial metal-detecting finds in England, the so-called Crosby Garrett helmet and the Lenborough Hoard. The volume contributes to the wider discussion about the appropriate due diligence process that should be conducted prior to the acquisition of archaeological material.
David Gill is Professor of Archaeological Heritage at the University of Suffolk and Visiting Research Fellow in the School of History at the University of East Anglia. He is a former Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, and Sir James Knott Fellow at Newcastle University. He was responsible for the Greek and Roman collections at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, before moving to Swansea University where he was Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology. In 2012 he received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the Archaeological Institute of America for his research on cultural property. His previous books include Sifting the Soil of Greece: the Early Years of the British School at Athens (1886-1919) (2011) and Winifred Lamb: Aegean Prehistorian and Museum Curator (2018).
THE CARAVAGGIO DIARIES
On Dec. 29, 1984, three people dressed as workmen strolled into a cathedral in Malta and robbed it of a Caravaggio. They strung a “Work in progress” sign over the entrance to the cathedral of St. John in Valletta, lowered the hefty painting, "Saint Jerome," from its gilt frame, then roughly cut it out. “An American tourist complained the church was closed,” says Father Marius Zerafa, recalling the incident. “When the curator came to see what the fuss was about, he got the shock of his life!”
Father Zerafa is a sprightly 90-year-old, and he’s lived a full life ripe with art — the pipe-smoking Dominican priest and painter eventually became director of all of Malta’s museums — but the most dramatic episode of his career was beating this gang of criminals to get that Caravaggio back. This book details Father Zerafa's adventures in retrieving a stolen Caravaggio from the mafia, showing behind-the-scenes of this multifaceted investigation and recovery.
Father Marius Zerafa is a Dominican priest, painter and former director of Malta's museums. He still teaches at the Gregoriana in Rome.
HOW TO STEAL FROM THE LOUVRE: ESSAYS ON ART THEFT
Art theft has risen from an occasional event involving the trophies of the wealthy and elite, into a multi-billion-dollar annual criminal industry, run almost entirely by organized crime groups, and a significant funding source for terrorism. SOCA and the US Department of Justice have listed art crime as the third-highest-grossing criminal trade worldwide, behind only the drug and arms trades. This mini-series will trace the rise of art theft over the course of the Modern period, from the cliché gentleman thieves of the pre-World War Two period, beginning with Adam Worth’s 1876 theft of Thomas Gainsborough’s Portrait of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire from a gallery on Old Bond Street, to the 1999 attempt on the part of Mohammed Atta to raise funds by selling looted Afghani antiquities in Germany, in order to buy airplanes to crash into buildings—a prior plan for the 9/11 attack. This book will feature a curated collection of essays by leading historian of art crime, Dr. Noah Charney. His work on the subject has been included in his best-selling, Pulitzer-nominated books and articles for major publications, including The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Observer, Salon and many others.
Dr Noah Charney is an internationally best-selling author and the founder of ARCA.
You will be able to choose from these books, in electronic or print formats, as your rewards when you support this campaign. You will be asked in a future correspondence to choose which books you would like.
About our Goal, and Stretch Goals (if we get lucky)
Our initial target goal is a relatively modest 2000. This doesn't cover a whole scholarship, but we wholeheartedly welcome any assistance, and every little bit helps. A whole MINERVA Scholarship, including housing and transport, breaks down like this:
6750 covers the complete tuition for one scholar
2000 covers housing and living expenses for one scholar throughout the program
1000 covers the transport to and from the program
500 covers food throughout the summer program
So the actual cost for a MINERVA Scholar is around 10,000. This felt like a lot for us to ask, and so while our fingers are crossed, we really are grateful for every little donation.
If we happen to surpass our initial goal, so much the better--all money from this campaign goes towards scholarships, the stretchier the better!
Rest assured that we plan to launch our ARCA publishing program no matter what happens in this campaign--the books are really just our way to say thank-you for your support of scholarships.
And...a Free Bonus Lecture on Caravaggio and the Saint Matthew Mysteries...Because If You've Read This Far, You Rock and We Truly Appreciate Your Interest and Attention to Supporting Our Cause!
Click here...and may good things come your way!
Risks and challenges
Every year, enrollment in our Postgraduate Program has provided sufficient income for ARCA to cover all of our operational costs. But this has always been just barely. We are a tiny organization run mostly by enthusiasm and passion and good will. We have an unusual business plan that has allowed us to be self-funding, and we have never had to fund-raise or apply for grants. But our budgets are tight enough that we cannot accommodate as many scholarship students as we would like, and still remain in the black. This is why we decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign--if we can receive external support from good folks like you, then we can offer complete scholarships to more students from the countries that need the most help protecting their cultural treasures.
There are no risks--we've got a plan in place to publish at least four art crime-related books each year, starting in 2019, and we run our summer program every year. A successful campaign would mean that one more scholarship student can attend our program...and a hugely successful campaign could mean that multiple scholars could come, and we can still break even on our very modest operational budget.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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