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3-day training event in Marseille

Last 14-16 November, the first 3-day training event of the PITCHER project took place at the Museum of the History of Marseille, in France, that is hosting the new exhibition on “Guilty Treasures” until next November 2023.

On Monday 14th in the morning, the 16 participants coming from the partner organisations of the PITCHER project, have shared the premises of the museum with a group of 20 students from high schools in Marseille. The participants were divided into small groups, with the objective to design some educational tools aiming to raise awareness on the global fight against the looting and trafficking of cultural objects. This effort is indeed not only in charge of the police and customs staff who has to prevent and combat these crimes, but also on all citizens, who must be aware of the possible risk to contribute to this traffic every time they buy an object with an unknown provenience.

In the afternoon of Monday, the French students presented their ideas, focusing of a set of tools and seminars to spread the information they had received in the morning among their schoolfellows, also involving the younger ones.

The full day of Tuesday 15th has been reserved to the three groups created by the PITCHER partners, to go in depth with the ideas sketched in the previous day. The descriptions of three possible “serious games” have been better detailed in a participatory way, defining not only the general objectives and rules of the games, but also deciding the next steps necessary to fully implement these tool, planned in a group of eight open educational resources that the project is going to develop before May 2023.

Just to provide an example of the work that has been done by the participants, we will shortly describe one of these educational games.

Its objective is to identify which object has been stolen, in a group of 81 artefacts that are presented to the students, so enriching also their knowledge of different artistic forms of the ancient past. The teacher, the only person who knows the solution, is challenged by the students, who have to identify the object asking questions concerning the historical period, the country of origin, the material and the colour of the stolen object. With several questions, supported by their deductive capacity, the students will actually identify the object.

Once this step has been completed, the teacher presents a full description of the object, to further increase the knowledge of the students about history of art, and then shows them a list of possible “traffickers”, to help them understanding who are the villain actors of this crime.

A set of 54 figures are presented to the students, who must now identify the criminal, once more initially known only to the teacher, according to some characteristics, i.e. the way in which the crime has been committed, the scope of the looting or trafficking (e.g. financing terrorism, illicit art trafficking or art collecting, etc.), the country where the stolen object is sold, and the gender of the criminal.

In this way, the students can have a complete vision of the overall process, learning what kind of objects are usually stolen and also how, why and where they are presented on the market.

The images here shown present two of the cards that have been designed. The full set of cards and the different linguistic versions (English, Catalan, French, Greek, Italian and Spanish) will be completed in the ongoing months.


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