You have to give it to a Kenyan to win an award in something many of us are clueless about. The Association for Research into Crimes against Art recently announced the winners of its annual awards for the year 2012. The ARCA for those who are wondering is an international research group that promotes the study of art crime cultural heritage protection in the United States and Italy.
These are the guys that ensure that art is safe from all those bad guys like the Pierce Brosnan/Rene Russo fail in that Thomas Crowne Affair movie. Of be at the frontline dealing with the clowns smashing up Mali’s heritage. Or even those guys with the vulture art grafitti we have been seeing on the streets. Ok maybe not the last one but still…
Now ARCA presents four annual awards presented at the ARCA’s annual conference which this year was held in Amelia, Italy on June 23 and 24. The winner for the “Lifetime Achievement in Defence of Art for 2012 is George H. O. Abungu.
I was pleased to learn (Google really is your friend) that Dr. Abungu has served as Chairman of the International Standing Committee on the Traffic of Illicit Antiquities since 1999, and as Director-General of the National Museums of Kenya from 1999-2002. Among his many projects, he was involved in the return to Kenya of looted Vigango (grave markers).
We may not be literary mavericks but where defence of art is concerned we are the bees knees. To read more about the awesomeness that is Dr. Abungu you need to click here.