Annual Art Crime Symposia

Since 2015 the Art Crime Research Trust has hosted an annual Art Crime Symposium at the City Gallery, Wellington.  The Symposia are much anticipated and include presentations from leading academics and researchers in the field of art crime, covering aspects of the discipline in New Zealand and beyond.

** Update May 2023 ** We have decided to postpone our annual symposium until 2024, maybe in May. We’ll update you all when we have more details.

We enjoyed our 2022 SYMPOSIUM:


The day was organised into blocks with plenty of time to network and mingle over morning and afternoon teas (provided) or lunch (not provided).

Our speakers included (in alphabetical order):

  • Jonathan Barrett (Victoria University) – ‘A Pissarro, justice & fairness, & the vagaries of law: A perspective from Aotearoa New Zealand.’
  • Chanel Clarke (Te Rau Aroha Waitangi Treaty Grounds) and Hikitia Harawira (Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira) – ‘Redress for the crime: The return of taonga through the Treaty Settlement process
  • Miriam Kauders, Simon During and Michiel During – ‘The return to New Zealand from Czechoslovakia of the Gertrud Kauders Collection.’
  • Freya Elmer (MOTAT) – ‘De-Accessioning art objects from the Walsh Libraru at MOTAT that have little or no relevance to technology or transport.’
  • Josie McNaught (arts lawyer and former arts journalist) and William Cottrell (former journalist and antique furniture expert/restorer) – The law is an elephant-sized ass … (when it comes to applying the trade in endangered species act (TIES) and the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora 1975 (CITIES).’
  • Jamie Metzger (Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand) – ‘Ready or not: How museums are progressing the repatriation movement in Aotearoa.’
  • Sarah Murray (Canterbury Museum) – ‘A collection challenge? The treasures of Benin cared for by Canterbury Museum.’
  • Felicity Strong (Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria) – ‘The ‘kleptotype’ dilemma: An examination of the parallels between botanical collections & cultural collections in the challenge of repatriation of stolen & problematic artefacts & specimens.’
  • Rod Thomas (AUT) – ‘The good faith buyer defence and the vulnerability of art institutions and their employees to reparations claims.’
  • Arthur Tompkins (Ministry of Justice) – ‘Repatriation: An overview.’

You can find links to previous symposia below:


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