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RITHMS Conference in A Coruña

02 May 2024

The RITHMS conference, focused on "Trafficking in Cultural Property: A Criminological Perspective" convened to address pressing issues surrounding illicit activities in the cultural sphere. Distinguished professionals and experts gathered to share insights and strategies to combat the trafficking of cultural goods.

Delving into the intricate realm of illicit cultural goods trafficking, the morning sessions were enriched by the expertise of Marc Balcells from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Esteemed panelists including Cristina Guisasola (Universitat de València), Francesca Fiorentini (Università degli Studi di Trieste), and José Ángel Brandariz (Universidade da Coruña) furthered our understanding of this multifaceted issue through engaging round table dialogues.

Kicking off the subsequent session, John Kerr from the University of Law illuminated best practices in heritage and cultural property policing, drawing from international police operations in France, Italy, the UK, and Brazil. This session was marked by a dynamic exchange featuring representatives from LEAs of the RITHMS Consortium, such as Richard Bronswijk (Politie, The Netherlands), Silvia Valencia Juez (Policía Nacional, Spain), Luca Migliaccio (Arma dei Carabinieri Comando Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, Italy) and Paula Mita (Romanian Police). Cameron Walter from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) concluded this session with invaluable closing remarks.

The afternoon session, inaugurated by Arianna Visconti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), delved into the intricate nexus between illicit trafficking of cultural goods and organized crime. Key themes such as online cultural crimes, trafficking in the Mediterranean, and the role of the Nicosia Convention in criminal justice were explored during engaging round table discussions.

Special recognition is due to Sam Hardy (University of Oslo), Riccardo Ercole Omodei (Università degli studi di Palermo), Antonio Roma, and Oscar Alarcón-Jiménez (Council of Europe) for their significant contributions.

From enlightening keynotes to dynamic round table discussions, each session deepened our understanding and underscored the imperative for collaborative action. Special thanks to all our speakers for their invaluable contributions in safeguarding our global cultural heritage.

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