Illegal Antiquities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Naxos, Crete)

Major Discipline(s):
Cultural Heritage
Related Disiplines:
Art History & Archaeology, Law, Museum Studies
Summer Session II (June 24 - July 20, 2019)

Who owns the Greek past? Where do the Parthenon Marbles belong and why? Where do Cycladic figurines come from, and why do we know so little about most of them? Is the Getty Kouros an authentic Greek statue? Can we use science to answer this question? If the Euphronios Krater was made in Greece, why is it in Italy (after more than thirty years in the US)? Is looting still happening in Greece? We will contemplate these and other questions in our discussion of the broad range of ethical dilemmas connected to Greek antiquities in the 21st century. We will focus on issues concerning the looting of ancient sites; ethical, political, and legal aspects of the international trade in art objects and antiquities; authenticity and forgery of ancient art and the scientific technologies applied in the analysis of ancient objects; the management of museums and repatriation of cultural property; conservation and preservation of cultural heritage; and the protection of cultural property in armed conflict. No previous knowledge of Greek art and archaeology is required.

We will get to see firsthand many of the objects associated with our discussions in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Acropolis Museum, and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. We will also visit the islands of Naxos and Crete.

This is a discussion course, and it is designed to be interactive. We will be grappling with fascinating but difficult issues, and we will learn by discussing these issues together. The course requires the full and active participation of every student. Students must do all the readings thoroughly and carefully, and take detailed notes that will allow them to make a significant and consistent contribution to class discussion. The quality, and not just the quantity, of student comments in class will be taken into consideration. Students will give short presentations to the group, and be expected to actively engage in the presentations given by their classmates. Each will be responsible for leading class discussion of an assigned reading, and arguing for a particular side in class debates.


This course requires a minimum enrollment of 15, with a maximum enrollment of 24.

CYA reserves the right to cancel any course that fails to achieve minimum enrollment by April 1. Students are advised not to purchase non-refundable airline tickets before early April.


60 contact hours

Fee Discounts

  • Students who submit their application for admission with full payment postmarked on or before March 1, receive a reduction of $100.

  • Students who enroll and participate in more than one CYA summer course receive a reduction of $100 per course. 

Essential Information

The course starts in Athens on Monday June 24 and ends in Athens on Saturday July 20. Transportation between Athens, Thessaloniki, Naxos and Crete as well as during day excursions is included in the course fee.

Enrolled students will have access to detailed information prior to departure that will include directions to the Academic Center and other practical information about the course. CYA recommends the following websites for general information about Athens and Greece: and



Students are housed within walking distance of the CYA Academic Center in either CYA student apartments located in the Pangrati neighborhood of central Athens or in hotel accommodations arranged by CYA. CYA apartments are simply furnished and equipped with a full kitchen and air-conditioned bedrooms; towels, linens and housekeeping service will be provided. Hotel accommodations in Athens or during excursions will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, with air-conditioned rooms.


The CYA Academic Center is located next to the Athens Marble Stadium and houses classrooms, the library, the student lounge and cafeteria, computer facilities (including wireless access for those students who choose to bring laptop computers), laundry facilities, and administrative offices. The Academic Center is accessible Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sunday 5:00-9:00 p.m..


When class is in Athens a full mid-day meal will be served weekdays in the CYA cafeteria between the hours of 12:00-3:00 p.m. A welcome and a farewell dinner are also included in the course fee.


Arrival: Monday June 25
9:00 a.m.: Check-in begins at the CYA Academic Center. Pick up information folder from Student Affairs and course materials from the Librarian. Transfer to CYA apartments or to CYA-arranged hotel accommodations.

6:00 p.m.: Orientation session at the Academic Center followed by welcome dinner offering students the opportunity to meet their Professor and fellow students.

Class begins: Tuesday June 25

Last Day of Class: Friday July 19
Last class and final examination. Farewell dinner

Departure: Saturday July 20
Accommodations available till 11:00 am.