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Cultural Heritage at Risk

Public Programs

Rape of Europa images courtesy of Menemsha Films
Cultural Heritage at Risk
Art and Book Theft: Past, Present, Future
Tue, Nov 10, 2009 8 AM
Interested in art collecting or the protection of cultural artifacts? This Wexner Center cosponsored seminar brings current industry experts to Columbus and to discuss current issues involved in safeguarding cultural property.

The symposium explores the history and extent of thefts of fine art and library materials and offers an exciting opportunity to hear from curators as well as law enforcement officers working in the arts. The day's events include a roundtable discussion featuring art theft experts, a screening of the fascinating documentary The Rape of Europa (Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, Nicole Newnham, 2007), which examines the Nazi's systematic theft of artworks during WWII, book signings with featured speakers Noah Charney and Travis McDade, and much more.

Cosponsored by The Ohio State University Libraries, the OSU Department of Public Safety, and the Wexner Center.

Continue reading for more information on the presenters and the film. Noah Charney, is the founding director of the Association of Research into Crimes Against Art; the author of the novel The Art Thief, and editor of the book Art and Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World.

Travis McDade is the curator of the Law Rare Books and assistant professor of Library Administration at the University of Illinois. He teaches the course Rare Books, Crime & Punishment at Illinois and is the author of The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman.

Paul Denton was appointed chief of The Ohio State University Police Division in 2006, serving 28 years with the Columbus Division of Police. As chief he has reorganized the division and launched a crime-analysis and problem-oriented approach to address campus crime issues. He has successfully directed public safety operations for major campus events such as football games, political campaigns, and visits by dignitaries. He serves on numerous campus, community, and professional work groups and was recently appointed to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. He has a BS degree from Youngstown State University, MBA from Xavier University, and MS from Tiffin University.

John Kleberg has a total of 35 years of service at Ohio State, having retired as assistant vice president for business and finance with direct responsibility for administration and university public safety areas and also having worked on special projects as director of risk assessment for student affairs. He has also been chief of university police and assistant to the director of the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, among other military and civilian law enforcement services. His undergraduate degree is from Michigan State University, and his graduate degree is from the University of Illinois. He is currently a consultant and a contributing essayist to Art and Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World.

Patrick Maughan completed his undergraduate and postgraduate work at The Ohio State University and has over 25 years experience in public safety. His jobs have included paramedic, assistant fire chief, museum security director, campus safety/security director, and risk and emergency management director. In addition, he has consulted at numerous institutions of higher education and spoken on the topic of security and art protection at the local, regional, and national level.

The Rape of Europa
(Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen, Nicole Newnham, 2007)

The Rape of Europa tells the epic story of the Nazis’ systematic theft of Europe’s artistic heritage—it’s estimated they stole one-fifth of all known artworks from the countries they conquered—and its miraculous survival. Based on Lynn H. Nicholas’s groundbreaking study, the film shows that although the Allies restored some of the displaced art in the decade following WWII, much remains unaccounted for, even today. The end of the Cold War and the opening of Eastern European archives has led to a revival of urgency in restoring priceless artworks (many having made their way into the collections of major museums here and abroad) to their rightful owners. The film offers a privileged entry into the contemporary art trade while providing an emotional witness to the destruction wrought on shared cultural heritage by fanaticism, greed, and warfare. Narrated by Joan Allen. (117 mins., 35mm)
PARKING UPDATE: Construction at 15th and High. For more information click here.

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