This course examines the unique topic of art-related crime in its various forms and its implications for the international art market. As a multi-billion pound industry, criminal activity relating to art might assume a wide range of forms through the deception achieved with the creation of fakes and forgeries, the crimes of theft and towards the more subtle networks engaged in looting antiquities and money laundering. As a threat to our collective cultural identity, the subject of art crime demands a concerted investigation to understand its preconditions, processes and consequences and the varied challenges it presents to our cultural and commercial institutions; all of which will be analyzed in depth throughout this summer program.
The first week of the course examines the broader context of the art crime by identifying and defining the range of illegal activities that have an impact upon the international art world. By approaching the topic from a theoretical and practical perspective, case studies and group visits will be used to explore a range of subjects that contribute to our understanding of art crime. The second week examines a range of approaches for both confronting and responding to art crime, by identifying the challenges and opportunities that emerge in response to these processes. The curriculum explores a variety of legal, ethical, political, economic and technological approaches to challenging the networks that contribute to art crime, and considers the future efficacy of these measures within a dynamic and evolving industry.
Lectures and group discussions will be led by professionals with expertise within the various fields of art crime, and classroom sessions will be complemented by a range of study visits to museums and galleries.