Cultural Heritage at Risk…

Yesterday, the Wexner Center ( at The Ohio State University and the Heartland Chapter of the IFCPP ( hosted a lecture entitled:

Cultural Heritage at Risk Art and Book Theft: Past, Present, Future

 Travis McDade, assistant professor of library administration at the University of Illinois College of Law, was the first speaker presenting on several book theft cases and prosecutions that happened right here in Ohio.  Travis reviewed the cases of Joshua McCarty and the book thefts from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library as well as David Breithaupt and the theft of hundreds of books from Kenyon College.

See full size image Noah Charney, the founding director of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA), the first international think tank on art crime (, followed with a presentation on the history of art and book theft, problems with the reporting and statistics regarding these thefts, who is committing these thefts, the conflict between being a public institution and the technology and procedures in place to prevent these thefts from occurring. 

 Following the lunch break, a panel discussion and Q&A session with the featured speakers and several OSU Public Safety ( staff covered how they are approaching the challenge of cataloging, protecting and insuring our cultural heritage under the stewardship of The Ohio State University.

The lecture wrapped up with a showing of the film The Rape of Europa.  A film that tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and the Second World War.

Both Noah Charney and Travis McDade have published books the subject of art and book theft: all are available on

The Art Thief     and Art and Crime    by Noah Charney

The Book Thief    by Travis McDade

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