Fighting Cultural Heritage Crimes. An Introduction

The aim of this course is raising public awareness and providing the concept basics about Cultural Heritage Crimes, as well as informing about the principal legislative and operative tools to counter such phenomena.

This course has been developed by Ca' Foscari University of Venice and the Center for Cultural Heritage Technology-IIT in the framework of NETCHER H2020 Project.

Besides Ca' Foscari-IIT representatives (Lucio Milano, Cristina Tonghini, Arianna Traviglia, and Riccardo Giovanelli), the following international instructors have contributed to this MOOC: Sunna Altnöder and Edouard Planche (UNESCO); Major Lorenzo Pella (Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage); Corrado Catesi and Paolo Pellegrino (INTERPOL); Kristin Hausler (British Institute of International and Comparative Law); Daniela Rizzo and Maurizio Pellegrini (MIG, former MIBACT); Luca Zamparo (MEMO project, University of Padua); Peter Campbell (Cranfield University); Michela De Bernardin (The Journal of Cultural Heritage Crime); Samuel Hardy (University of Oslo - DniR); Deodato Tapete and Francesca Cigna (ASI - Italian Space Agency); Serena Epifani (The Journal of Cultural Heritage Crime); Marianne Mödlinger (EAA Community: Illicit Trade in Cultural Material).

Attendance and Credentials

Attendance Certificate


Arts and Humanities

Training hours




Course Mode





4 weeks



Course Status


Enrollments Start

Feb 14, 2021

Course Opens

Mar 1, 2021

Tutoring Starts

Mar 1, 2021

Tutoring Stops

Mar 28, 2021

Soft Tutoring

Mar 29, 2021

Course Closed

May 29, 2021
  • Acquirement of core knowledge about the illicit activities involving cultural heritage.
  • Familiarisation with the main legislative and operative tools to contrast cultural heritage crimes.  
  • Awareness-raising of the correct behaviour when dealing with or studying/publishing cultural property. 


Updated and selected Bibliography 

  1. S. Mackenzie - N. Brodie - D. Yates - C. Tsirogiannis, Trafficking Culture: New Directions in Researching the Global Market in Illicit Antiquities, 2019. 
  2. Illicit trade in cultural goods in Europe: characteristics, criminal justice responses and an analysis of the applicability of technologies in the combat against the trade: final report, European Commission (Directorate-General for Education, Sport, Culture, and Youth) 2019. 
  3. A. Al-Azm - K.A. Paul - S. Graham, Facebook's Black Market in Antiquities; trafficking, terrorism, and war crimes, ATHAR Project 2019. 
  4. M. Amato, Antiquities Theft: The Role of the Museum in Modern Symbolic Violence,  in Student Publications April 2019. 
  5. S. Hufnagel - D. Chappell (Eds.),The Palgrave Handbook on Art Crime, 2019. 
  6. The European Union Legal Framework and the Fight against the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property Coming from Situations of Armed Conflict, Law Department, University of Milano-Bicocca (Milano, Italy) - S. Urbinati, in Santander Art and Culture Law Review 4, pp. 51–70, 2018. 
  7. Restitution of Looted Art: What About Access to Justice?, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, University of Leiden (Leiden, The Netherlands) - E. Campfens, in Santander Art and Culture Law Review 4, pp. 185–220, 2018.  
  8. S. Mackenzie - D. Yates, What is Grey about the "Grey Market" in Antiquities?, in The Architecture of Illegal Markets Towards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy, pp. 70–86, 2017.  
  9. P. J. O'Keefe, Protecting cultural objects: before and after 1970, Institute of Art and Law, Crickadarn (Builth Wells, UK) 2017.  
  10. B.L. Murphy, Museums, Ethics and Cultural Heritage, ICOM 2016.  
  11. S. Bell, Fakes and Forgeries, 2009. 

The course consists of 4 Teaching Units, each arranged into about ten video-lessons. Additional material, glossary, bibliography, and webography complete the MOOC. An assessment test closes each Teaching Unit, while a questionnaire dedicated to the case-studies discussed throughout the course is foreseen at the end of the MOOC. Passing this final test is required to achieve the Certificate of Attendance. A chat box (Forum) will be available during the online course, to encourage discussion among fellow learners following the inputs of the tutors. 
You can earn Attendance Certificate by completing all the included video-lessons, the tests at the end of each section, and the final test (minimum 70% of correct answers for each test).