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This eight-part course examines the unique topic of art-related crime in its various forms and the legal implications within the international art market.

The subject of art crime, and the complex legal framework of the art world, demands a concerted investigation to understand its preconditions, processes, and consequences, and the varied challenges art criminals present to our cultural and commercial institutions.

As a multi-billion-dollar 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 the subtler networks engaged in looting antiquities and money laundering. Participants will, in turn, also look at the relationships among artists, dealers, collectors, and auction houses; issues in legal title and restitution of artworks looted during the Nazi era; provenance, authenticity and the market; disputes and scandals related to forgery; trusts and estates; alternative dispute; and valuation.

Organized around a series of sixteen expert-led lectures and discussions, this course will provide insight drawn from a range of law firms, commercial galleries, cultural organizations, dealerships, and auction houses.

This Intensive Course consists of live-streamed lectures and discussions. Recordings of the live sessions are accessible anytime during the course via our online learning platform, Canvas.

Students will learn:

  • To identify the various definitions of criminal activity within the international art market.
  • To build the practical knowledge required to identify and evaluate criminal activity within the art market from a legal and ethical perspective.
  • To become familiar with the relevant tools and resources available to research and evaluate the movement and transaction of cultural objects.
  • To understand the range of methods and processes to employ in conducting due diligence for cultural objects"
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    February 17 - February 26, 2021
    5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. GMT
    (12:30 p.m. ET / 9:30 a.m. PT)
    Week 1: Wed-Fri
    Week 2: Mon-Fri
    Course Fee: £795.00 (£715, if registered by December 8, 2020)
    All online Intensive Courses are developed in London by Sotheby's Institute faculty, programming staff, and industry experts.
  • How It Works

    How It Works

    Our online Intensive Courses are designed to enrich and deepen your understanding of a specific art world subject in an accelerated and dynamic format. The courses are ideal for undergraduates, career changers, art professionals, and art lovers seeking to learn more about art and cultural history or to acquire specific knowledge/skills.
    Led by art professionals drawn from our global faculty, these courses provide participants with expert insight and practical skills through a combination of livestreamed lectures and group discussion. Course materials and lecture recordings can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via Sotheby’s Institute’s learning platform – Canvas. Canvas is an intuitive, self-contained environment that requires no additional software.
    Once you successfully complete the course, you will receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn.
  • Who Is This Course For?

    Who Is This Course For?

    This session is relevant for those interested in gaining an understanding of the range of processes and techniques through which criminal activity is conducted within the international art world, and the variety of responses to consider in countering these evolving risks. It is suitable for individuals with limited prior knowledge of the structures and organizations participating within the international cultural heritage sector, and for those who seek to gain a greater understanding of the challenges that continue to threaten both commercial and non-commercial art market entities.
  • Key Skills

    Key Skills

    Participants in this course will develop skills in the following areas:

    • Legal 101

    • Copyright, Intellectual Property

    • Provenance

    • Risk management

    • Analytical reasoning*

    *Featured in LinkedIn's Top 10 Hard Skills most demanded by employers in 2020.
  • Faculty


    Gareth Fletcher (Program Director, MA Art Logistics) lectures on a range of subjects across art logistics and art business including Strategy and Risk Management, Strategic Planning, the Contemporary Art Market. He has received a TECHNEAHRC scholarship to pursue his PhD examining the semiotics of provenance as institutional construct in the establishment of cultural and economic value in the market for Near Eastern antiquities. He sits on the Advisory Board for the Responsible Art Market (RAM) London Committee.
  • Register


    Click here to register.

    This course is listed under the Intensive Course option in the online application. Online Intensive Courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
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