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Trafficking in Cultural Property: a Criminological Perspective

RITHMS Second Public Conference
University of A Coruña (Spain)

The illicit trafficking of cultural property deprives populations and countries of their history, destroying their collective memory. It is said to fuel money laundering, tax evasion, and the financing of terrorist activities. Combating this crime requires strong mobilisation of responsible actors, through regional and international cooperation.

By holding this international Conference, the RITHMS Consortium aims to provide participants with an in-depth understanding of this criminal phenomenon, assessing the state of the art, but also the gaps in the common understanding of the problem, to develop adequate measures to improve EU policy and law enforcement practices on the protection of cultural heritage.

A joint day will bring together scholars and police officers, allowing them to exchange views and strengthen their capacity to preserve human history and tackle trafficking networks.

On the agenda for debate, are the relations of trafficking in cultural goods with other forms of organised crime and the measures adopted to counteract them.

The Conference program will also focus on the identification of best practices for Law Enforcement Agencies. The discussion will result in a better criminological foundation for policies and practices at both EU and national levels.

30 April 2024



Welcome and Registration

Session 1
Assessing the phenomenon of trafficking in cultural property

9:15 - 10:00

Keynote speaker

What do we really know about trafficking in cultural property?

Marc Balcells

Open University of Catalonia, Spain

10:00 - 11:15

Round Table

Overview and needs assessment of the fight against the illicit trade of cultural property

Cristina Guisasola

University of Valencia, Spain

Borders and rights-based approaches to the legal protection of cultural heritage

Francesca Fiorentini

University of Trieste, Italy

Fighting trafficking in cultural goods: LEAs’ perspectiveof cultural property

José Ángel Brandariz

University of A Coruña, Spain

11:15 - 11:45

Coffee Break

Session 2
Identification of best practices in the fight against trafficking in cultural property

11:45 - 12:30

Keynote speaker

Best practices of heritage and cultural property policing

John Kerr

University of Law, UK

12:30 - 14:00

Round Table

Richard Bronswijk & Peter Veltman

Politie, The Netherlands

Silvia Valencia Juez

Policía Nacional (Brigada de Patrimonio Histórico), Spain 

Luca Migliaccio

Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, Italy

Paula Mita

Romanian Police, Romania

Cameron Walter

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

14:00 - 15:30

Lunch Break

Session 3
Intersections between trafficking in cultural property and organised crime

15:30 - 16:15

Keynote Speaker

Trafficking networks and the rise of art and antiquities e-commerce: how organised is cultural property crime today?

Arianna Visconti

Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Italy

16:15 - 17.30

Round Table

Online social organisation of cultural property crime

Samuel Hardy

University of Oslo, Norway

Organised trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea

Riccardo Ercole Omodei

University of Palermo, Italy

Money laundering and illicit trafficking in cultural goods

Antonio Roma

Public Prosecutor, Spain

The Nicosia Convention as a criminal justice response to offences relating to cultural property

Oscar Alarcón-Jiménez

Secretary, Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property, Council of Europe (CoE)

17:30 - 18:00


Getting here

Faculty of Law, University of A Coruña

The Conference will take place at the Salón de Grados, ground floor. Signs at the entrance hall will show the direction.