School of Law

Art, Crime and Criminals

Workshop 1

Podcasts from Workshop 1 are now available online.

At a time when art crime is burgeoning and the allocation of special public and private resources to its detection, investigation and prosecution is growing, this network aims at drawing together the principle actors in the field. Art crime traverses both academic disciplines and jurisdictional boundaries. Even within one discipline, such as law, it encompasses criminal law, business law, insurance law, intellectual property law, cultural heritage law and many more. Practitioners equally come from various backgrounds, such as, police, customs, museums, galleries, auction houses, dealerships, insurance companies, art authenticators, forensic scientists, private security companies etc. These groups rarely work together and this network is providing an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas.

As the ACPO Group on Heritage and Cultural Property Crime noted in its 2013 Report ‘[m]ore effective encouragement and coordination of ‘heritage and cultural property champions’ within communities is required to establish a greater degree of collective efficacy amongst statutory bodies, agencies, clubs, societies, charities and law enforcement professionals who are all committed to protecting and preventing Heritage and Cultural Property Crime’. This network aims at bringing these different actors together to specify priorities and devise common strategies.

The objectives of the network on ‘Art, Crime and Criminals: Painting Fresh Pictures of Art Theft, Fraud and Plunder’ are:

  • Bringing together key stakeholders from policy, practice, and research;
  • Gaining different perspectives on how to enforce existing laws on art theft, fraud and heritage offences;
  • To identify emerging issues and future research trends;
  • To identify gaps in the existing legislation and propose avenues for legal and policy change;
  • To explore potential for future collaborations between researchers and practitioners/ policymakers;
  • To feed research results back to policymakers and practitioners.

‘Art, Crime and Criminals’ workshops

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded a series of three workshops, designed to bring together key stakeholders from policy, practice and research backgrounds to explore emerging issues surrounding Art Crime:

Workshop 1: Art Theft and Vandalism

Hosted by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), 21 June 2016.

Podcasts are now online.

Workshop 2: Art Fraud and Forgeries

Hosted by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), 16 January 2017.

Workshop 3: Looting and Iconoclasm

Held at the Federal German Ministry of Finance, Berlin, 7 September 2017.


For further information contact:

Dr Saskia Hufnagel, QMUL

Professor Duncan Chappell, University of Sydney