Lecture Spotlight: An Examination of Art Theft and Looting

Art lootingOn Tuesday, June 10, John Cabot University hosted An Examination of Art Theft and Looting, a lecture by Leila Amineddoleh.

Ms. Amineddoleh is an expert of art, cultural heritage, and intellectual property law who works as legal consultant for artists, galleries, designers, musicians, art collectors, and various organizations both in Italy and in the United States. She also teaches Art & Cultural Heritage Law at Fordham University School of Law and St. John’s University School of Law, and serves as the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation.

The pillaging of artistic works and sites has long been a concern for culturally rich communities, especially in times of war. The issue, from Alexander the Great’s razing of Persepolis in ancient Persia to Emperor Trajan’s sacking of Dacia to Napoleon’s large-scale looting across Europe to modern day art thefts, is a fascinating and complex topic of research and discussion.

In March, the JCU Art History Club presented a lecture on art looting by JCU alumna Anna Bottinelli. Bottinelli spoke to the community about her work as research assistant to Robert Edsel, author of the book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, which was then turned into the well-known movie starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett.

During the lecture on June 10, Ms. Amineddoleh deepened the discussion on the history of The Monuments Men, the group of scholars, architects, and archivists who, during World War II, joined the army to preserve artworks, churches, monuments, and museums from looting, and to return works stolen by Hitler and the Nazis to their legitimate owners. Moreover, the lecture addressed a treasure trove of over 1400 looted artworks discovered in Germany in November 2013. Lastly, the JCU community enjoyed Ms. Amineddoleh’s passionate recounts of her experience, as she particularly centered on the legal battle for the return of the artworks to their rightful owners, and on the major obstacles they face.

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Martedì 10 Giugno, la John Cabot University ha ospitato la conferenza An Examination of Art Theft and Looting, tenuta da Leila Amineddoleh.

La dottoressa Amineddoleh è un’esperta di arte, patrimonio culturale, e proprietà intellettuale, che lavora come consulente legale per artisti, gallerie d’arte, designers, musicisti e collezionisti d’arte, nonché per varie organizzazioni, sia in Italia che negli Stati Uniti. Inoltre, insegna Arte e Legge dei Patrimoni Culturali presso le scuole di Legge della Fordham University e della St. John’s University, ed è anche la direttrice esecutiva del comitato degli avvocati per la conservazione del patrimonio culturale.

Il problema dei saccheggi di opere e luoghi culturali affligge da tempo quelle comunità il cui ricco patrimonio culturale fa gola a molti, e questo fenomeno si accentua in tempo di guerra. Tali saccheggi, dalla razzia di Persepoli perpetuata da Alessandro il Grande, al sacco della Dacia da parte dell’imperatore Traiano, fino alle ruberie di Napolene in vari luoghi d’Europa, costituiscono un complesso ed affascinante argomento di ricerca e discussione.

A marzo, il Club di Storia dell’Arte della JCU aveva già presentato una conferenza sull’argomento, guidata da Anna Bottinelli. Anna, ex allieva dell’università, aveva raccontato del suo lavoro come assistente per la ricerca di Rober Edsel, autore del libro Monuments Men. Eroi alleati, ladri nazisti e la più grande caccia al tesoro della storia, da cui è stato tratto il film con George Clooney, Matt Damon e Cate Blanchett, uscito da qualche mese anche in Italia.

La dottoressa Amineddoleh ha trattato ulteriormente la storia dei Monuments Men, il gruppo di accademici, architetti e archivisti che, durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale, si unirono all’esercito per proteggere dal saccheggio opere d’arte, chiese, monumenti e musei, e per tentare di restituire le opere rubate da Hitler e dai nazisti ai legittimi proprietari. Inoltre, la dottoressa ha esaminato con il pubblico la notizia del ritrovamento, nel novembre 2013 in Germania, di più di 1400 opere rubate. Infine, studenti e professori della JCU hanno avuto l’opportunità di assistere al racconto della dottoressa Amineddoleh della sua esperienza personale nelle battaglie legali per la restituzione delle opere ai legittimi proprietari e delle difficoltò che clienti e avvocati devono affrontare.

Clicca qui e scopri di più sulla facoltà di Storia dell’Arte della John Cabot University!

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