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Art that has been looted, stolen, or illegally traded each year has been valued globally at five to seven billion dollars, according to estimates put together by the United Nations. This course will investigate the dark side of the art market, how thieves, forgers, and even governments sometimes manipulate the art market and exploit loopholes to amass valuable collections. This course will explore how the nature and complexity of international art crimes has grown through examining case studies of some of the world’s most notorious art crimes and criminals. Participants will also learn about the work of forensic scientists, art lawyers, and other art professionals who are dedicated to justice. The significance of provenance research and a catalogue raisonné in demonstrating authenticity will also be addressed, as will issues of the restitution of stolen art and heritage concerns raised by some museum collections.

What you will learn…

  • To understand how the nature and complexity of international art crimes has grown through examining case studies of some of the world’s most notorious art crimes and criminals.
  • To understand the major issues surrounding the restitution of stolen art, as well as heritage concerns raised by some museum collections.
  • To perform basic provenance research, including how to use a catalogue raisonné, to determine authenticity
The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    2-week course
    June 17–June 28, 2019
    Monday–Friday; 2:30 PM–5:00 PM

    Enrollment for this course is now closed. Please write to if interested in our 2020 summer program.
  • Faculty


    Richard Lehun, Adjunct Faculty, Summer Institute, New York

    Click here to view all of our faculty members. Our instructors are award-winning Sotheby's Institute faculty, recognized thought leaders, and professional experts in the art world.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • Stolen or Looted Art: Where Is It and What Is It Worth?

    • How Do You Determine the Rightful Owner of an Artwork?

    • The Diplomacy of Returning Stolen or Looted Art

    • The Art Looting Investigation Unit of the Office of Strategic Services

    • Association for Research into Crimes Against Art

    • UNESCO and the Protection of Cultural Heritage

    • Restitution of Nazi-era Looted Art and Other Cultural Property

    • Illegal Archeological Excavations

    • The Importance of the Catalogue Raisonné

    These topics are subject to change.
  • Further Program Details

    Further Program Details

    Summer - New York is part of Sotheby's Institute's continuing education programming and offers short, non-credit courses.

    Our Accommodations page provides essential information and external resources for students researching their options.
  • Course Fees & Enrollment

    Course Fees & Enrollment


    Add a second Summer New York course at a reduced rate:

    • Additional 4-week course +$3350 ($5700 Total)

    • Additional 2-week course +$1950 ($4300 Total)

    • Additional 1-week course +$1350 ($3700 Total)

    Tuition includes classroom and program lectures, site visits, and additional programming.
    Tuition does not include accommodation or travel.

    Terms and Conditions
  • Contact Information

    Contact Information

    For further information or course advisement, please contact:
    Hayley Black, Admissions Advisor
    Tel: 212-897-6644 Or Request Information

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