Illegal Antiquities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Naxos, Crete)

Major Discipline(s):
Cultural Heritage
Related Disiplines:
Art History & Archaeology, Law, Museum Studies
Summer Session II (June 22 - July 18, 2020)

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.

Course Details


This course requires a minimum enrollment of 10, with a maximum enrollment of 16.

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 Reductions

  • $100 per course for students who submit their application with full payment postmarked on or before March 1

  • $100 per course for students who enroll and participate in two CYA summer courses

  • $250 per course for students from public universities

  • $100 per course for CYA semester students who enroll in a summer course

Essential Information

The course starts in Athens on Monday June 22 and ends in Athens on Saturday July 18. 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

IMPORTANT NOTE: This course involves extensive travel.  Be wary of overpacking.  Pack only what you can carry comfortably, because you will be required to check- in and out of accommodations for each stay / travel segment of this course. It will also be useful to bring with you travel-size cosmetics.

Housing & Meals

While in Athens, 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 while travelling will be in simple 2- or 3-star hotels, double- or triple-occupancy, in air-conditioned rooms with breakfast included.

 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.

June 22-29:  (7 nights, 8 days): Accommodations in CYA student apartments, lunch will be served on weekdays at the CYA Cafeteria.

June 29-July 3: (4 nights, 5 days): Accommodations at Olympic Hotel in Heraklio town, Crete (first and last night on ferry boat).  Breakfast will be served daily.  No other meals included.

July 3-4: (1 night, 2 days) Accommodations in CYA apartments. Lunch will be served on weekdays at the CYA Cafeteria.

July 4--6: (2 nights, 3 days): Accommodations at Hotel Luxembourg in Thessaloniki.  Breakfast will be served daily.  No other meals included.

July 6-9: (3 nights, 4 days): Accommodations in CYA apartments. Lunch will be served on weekdays at the CYA Cafeteria.
July 9--11: (2 nights, 3 days): Accommodations at Porto Naxos Hotel on Naxos island.  Breakfast will be served daily.  No other meals included.
July 11-18: (7 nights, 8 days) Accommodations in CYA apartments. Lunch will be served on weekdays at the CYA Cafeteria.


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..


Arrival: Monday June 22
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 23

Last Day of Class: Friday July 17
Last class and final examination. Farewell dinner.

Departure: Saturday July 18
Accommodations available till 12:00 noon