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Art crime: the myth vs the reality

Weekend-long art history and theory course

Short course

● Fully booked

  • 6 April 2019, 10am — 5pm
  • 7 April 2019, 10am — 5pm

Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (Detail), 1907.

Oil, silver and gold on canvas. 138cm x 138cm. Neue Galerie, New York.

This weekend-long course explores this gripping world of art crime including looting and theft, forgeries and vandalism, drawing on real cases and exploring the difference between myth and reality.

From The Adventures of Indiana Jones to The Monuments Men, art crime captures the public imagination and is never far from the news or the movies. However, how close does this comes to reality? Through the wide-ranging practical experience of invited speakers, this course will introduce participants to the different forms of crime against art and will provide an understanding of the reality behind the stories covered in the news and media. Areas of particular focus will include the theft of art and antiques from museums and private individuals; the looting and theft of antiquities across the world; and the recovery of Nazi looted art.

Questions that will be answered in the course cover: How does art crime affect artists, collectors, institutions, and the market today? How do you track down stolen and looted art? What happens when stolen works resurface? Other areas of art crime will be touched upon, including fakes and forgeries, iconoclasm and vandalism, as well as more financial crimes such as consignment fraud or money laundering.

The practical experience of the course directors and guest speakers will be used to illustrate these various forms of art crime and the diverse way in which they are tackled and resolved. The context for this fight against art crime will also be recognised, and the crucial role that the art market has to play.

Throughout the weekend the speakers will encourage those attending to recognise the difference between crime as presented by the press or within popular culture, and the reality of every day work for those who fight art crime. Attendees will also be introduced to research tools that aid the detecting of works with a problematic past. The course will conclude with a practical exercise, allowing participants to put to use their understanding of the issues raised over the weekend.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

  • 6 April 2019, 10am — 5pm
  • 7 April 2019, 10am — 5pm

Wolfson British Academy Room, 6 Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£420. Includes all materials, light refreshments at the beginning of each day and wine reception at the end of day one.