Daily Student Blogs from CLIP 'Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Law' Course in Italy

July 31, 2016

2016 CLIP Italy banner3Students and faculty from the the Center for Law and Intellectual Property (CLIP) travel to Italy July 17-31 for the field trip-based course Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Law. For the​ summer course, students stay at Texas A&M University's Santa Chiara Study Center in Castiglion Fiorentino, a picturesque Tuscan hilltown. The Aggie Law students​ explore the surrounding area, including Siena, Assisi, and Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, to tour historic and cultural treasures, ​wineries, and world-class museums.​​ Students are immersed in art law and cultural heritage law in one of the world's most historic centers of art. Professors Irene Calboli and Megan Carpenter, co-director of CLIP, teach this summer course that focuses on experiences as well as lectures.

Check out all the daily student blog posts

Day 1​2 blogs - Recovering Stolen Art

Italy Firenze CalboliBlogger:  ​​3L ​​Jordan Hartsell

Italy FlorenceWe started today extremely early for us and arrived in Florence around 8:30 a.m. We quickly began our walk to the other side of Florence from the train station, where we decided to walk into traffic a few times while following the people in front of us. Along the walk to the Carabinieri, we stopped to grab a cappuccino and then proceeded our walk again. I was excited to find out that the Carabinieri office was located inside the Boboli Gardens, which I didn’t get a chance to go see on my last trip to Florence.

Our meeting began at 9:30 a.m. in the second-in-command’s office. Unfortunately, he only spoke Italian, so Professor Calboli translated for us. He informed us of all of the duties the Carabinieri completed, which was an extensive list that included working with other countries to recover stolen art and to include any stolen art in a very impressive and expansive database. After bombarding several of the  officers with tons of questions and hearing several stories of how they recovered stolen art from around the world, we went out onto their terrace and viewed Florence from a whole different angle and it was absolutely gorgeous (see photo ​above).

Upon leaving, we walked through the Boboli Gardens, and then through parts of the Palazzo Pitti where I attempted to convince a few classmates that they NEEDED to buy this house for us, but none of them went for it. We then spent the rest of the day exploring the beautiful city of Florence!

Blogger:  2L Neal Galloway

Italy FlorenceToday, we had a field trip to Florence to meet with the Art Recovery division of the Carabinieri Art Squad, the Italian federal police. To get there on time, we had to get up at 6:00 a.m., and make it to the train station for the early morning commuter train. On the way there, no one checked my ticket, so it makes me wonder how serious Trenitalia is about buying one.

This was our last day with Professor Alessandro Chechi of the University of Geneva, Faculty of Law, Art-Law Centre. The Carabinieri we met with are a division of the Italian State Police. They were really excited to meet with us; most seemed to have a passion for art that you could make out even through the language barrier. The head of the division was busy, but we met with the second-in-command in his office (the only place here that has had air conditioning to date).  Afterwards, they let us on their balcony, which has an amazing view of Florence (see photo ​above).

After meeting the Carabinieri, we split up, with some of us going to a piazza with a name that is quite rude in Italian, according to Professor Calboli. I went separately to Piazza Santo Spirito. There was a market there that had the biggest variety of stuff I’ve seen yet. I seriously considered buying a linen suit, then tried to get away from the tourist areas and found a kebab shop.

On the way back up to the study center, I noticed a plumbing truck with a picture of Mario from the Nintendo games. That’s a whole mess of IP problems.