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KMKG at GRACE conference

Royal Museums of Art and History

Chris Vastenhoud

Chris Vastenhoud from Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, attended the GRACE conference in Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts in December 2023.

GRACE is a research project formed by Ghent University and the Local Police of Ghent to address the lack of collaboration within the art and heritage crime sector.

Their primary focus is on gathering and disseminating information, as well as providing a platform for networking and exchanging information among various sectors involved in combating art and heritage crime. 

GRACE aims to be a catalyst for future collaborations and includes members from the academic world, local and federal police, and the cultural sector.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent hosted the ‘State of the Art Crime’ conference on December 11, 2023, featuring in-depth discussions on art-related offenses. The day was chaired by Mathias Desmet and Professor Dr. Georges Martyn from Ghent University.

Presentations included talks on art criminal typology, fraud and money laundering in the art sector, social construction around art forgery, and more.

The afternoon included panel discussions on international collaboration in combating art and heritage crime, protection of cultural heritage against theft, and plundering of cultural heritage, provenance research, and restitution.The event concluded with closing remarks from Professor Dr. Marc Cools and a networking reception. This was the second conference organized by GRACE. The conference was attended by a large delegation form the Netherlands. Close cooperation between Flanders and the Netherlands can be expected.

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