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RITHMS at ARCA's Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference

24 June 2024

Amelia, Italy – RITHMS participated in the 13th edition of ARCA's Annual Interdisciplinary Art Crime Conference, hosted in the historic city of Amelia. Organized by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA), this annual conference brings together experts, researchers, and professionals to explore challenges and innovative solutions in combating art and cultural crime. It serves as a pivotal platform for sharing knowledge and developing collaborative strategies to safeguard global cultural heritage.

During the conference, Michela De Bernardin from the Center for Cultural Heritage Technology delivered a presentation titled “Fighting Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Goods: RITHMS SNA-based Platform as an Innovative Tool to Dismantle Criminal Networks”. Her presentation provided an update on the development of the RITHMS project, focusing on completing the data collection phase and applying Social Network Analysis (SNA) to the gathered databases.

Michela De Bernardin explained how RITHMS utilizes SNA to analyze relational patterns and human behaviors, enabling the identification and dismantling of criminal networks involved in trafficking cultural goods. She presented several examples of SNA applications using data collected by the CCHT, demonstrating how this technology enhances investigators' capabilities to combat trafficking effectively.

The recently concluded data collection phase represents a significant milestone for RITHMS, consolidating a wealth of information from diverse sources. Preliminary results, currently in publication, underscore the potential of the RITHMS platform to provide detailed and operationally valuable insights into criminal networks.

Furthermore, by examining the mechanisms driving illicit cultural artifact trade and its connections to other criminal activities, alongside pioneering technological innovations, RITHMS charts a replicable strategy to confront these challenges. RITHMS not only deciphers the complexities of cultural goods trafficking but also offers a blueprint for a comprehensive and adaptable approach to address similar criminal phenomena.

The conference also featured participation from RITHMS Consortium Partners, including representatives from the Italian Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (TPC), the Spanish Brigade for the Historical Heritage and the National Police of Netherlands.

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