We are looking for approximately 15 interns to work in Cambodia, New York, and Washington, DC for a minimum of four weeks (six weeks is the preferable length). Due to the project's large scope, there is much room to accommodate the students' individual qualifications and interests.
The most important — and nonnegotiable — quality is the willingness and ability to live and work in a developing country. Preferably applicants will have traveled overseas, and in the third world, but what they lack in such experience they could make up for in enthusiasm. As for other requirements, a background in civil law would be helpful, as would a reading knowledge of French. An understanding of international law is also very important.
Interns must attend the Tulane Siena program to be qualified for the position. To apply, once you have registered and paid a deposit for the Siena program, please complete this form which will include the following application materials:
- Current Resume
- Current Transcript
- Personal statement (no more than 1 - 2 pages) explaining why you think you will be a good fit for this position
Applications will be taken on a first come basis until all spots are filled.
Internships are available in Washington, DC for Siena students interested in working with the Holocaust Art Restitution Project. Students would be working on both Nazi-looted art and antiquities looting matters, combining research (particularly in the National Archives and Library of Congress) and writing (white papers and perhaps briefs).
These internships will be supervised by a leading historian in the field, Marc Masurovsky. He has long been a leader in the field of Holocaust repatriation and restitution, as well as the broader fight to stop the plunder of cultural objects and sites. Marc Masurovsky is on the research staff of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the US. He co-founded the Holocaust Art Restitution Project (HARP) in 1997 and has served as its Director of Research and is a Board member. He has researched the question of assets looted during the Holocaust and World War II since 1980 and has worked as an expert historian on a class-action lawsuit for Jewish claimants seeking restitution of lost accounts and other liquid assets from Swiss banks. As a consultant and historian for the Department of Justice's Office of Special Investigations, he researched alleged Nazi war criminals living in the U.S., interviewed witnesses to crimes against humanity and studied post-war relations between former Nazi officials and Allied intelligence agencies. Mr. Masurovsky earned his M.A. in Modern European History from American University in Washington, D.C. For his Master's thesis, he researched "Operation Safehaven: the Allied response to Nazi post-defeat planning, 1944-1948".
Interns in New York will be working with The Ciric Law Firm, PLLC on cultural heritage cases (mostly World War II cases), CLE program formation, and will have the possibility of writing for publication. This internship will begin after the Siena program, working based on the knowledge gained there. Interns can be located in New York or work remotely.
The Khmer Empire was once the most powerful force in Southeast Asia. More than 500 years after its collapse, its splendor survives in the art and archaeology of Cambodia. This heritage is among the kingdom’s most important resources, but having survived centuries of war and abandonment, may be destroyed by its own popularity. Looters are decimating ancient Khmer sites --- desecrating tombs, beheading statues, and ransacking temples --- in search of valuable antiquities to sell on the international market.
In response to this plunder, the Kingdom of Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MOCFA) is launching a department to study and combat the illicit antiquities trade. Thanks to a partnership with Tulane Law School, graduate students now have an unprecedented opportunity to become involved in this exciting work. Selected interns will travel to the capital of Phnom Penh, where they will work alongside Cambodian and international colleagues, assisting the government in one of its most crucial efforts.
In addition to making a valid contribution to Cambodia, interns will benefit from their work by:
- becoming competent in legal research, using both print and electronic resources, as well as archival research;
- developing a pragmatic understanding of a foreign legal system and public international law;
- analyzing legislation and making recommendations for improvement;
- assisting in the drafting of regulations, sub-decrees, and decrees; and
- gaining hands-on experience in cultural property law, a fast growing legal field of increasing importance
These internships will be supervised by Tess Davis, a Researcher in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. Davis comes to this project from the Lawyer's Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation — a not-for-profit institution based in the United States — where she was Executive Director until 2012. She previously worked for the nongovernmental organization Heritage Watch in Cambodia, first as Project Coordinator, and finally Assistant Director. Her career began at the Archaeological Institute of America. For the past decade, Davis has devoted herself to fighting the pillage of ancient sites and trafficking of artifacts, particularly in Southeast Asia. Due to this and her other work, she has been interviewed by CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS), Voice of America (VOA), the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Phnom Penh Post, and the Cambodia Daily, among other national and international media outlets. Davis graduated magna cum laude from Boston University with a Bachelor Arts in Archaeology and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia School of Law. She now serves on the Advisory Board of Heritage Watch and is Vice Chair of the American Society of International Law’s Cultural Heritage and the Arts Interest Group. She is admitted to the New York State Bar.
Housing / Logistics:
Housing in Cambodia, and particularly Phnom Penh, is available and affordable. The easiest solution would be for students to stay in guesthouses or hotels. We can recommend several where colleagues and their teams stay for long-term visits while in the country. Such rooms would be available — depending on the amenities — for between $15 and $30 a night (and even less at a weekly or monthly rate). There has also been a proliferation of serviced apartments, which may be comparable in price. The cheapest option would be to rent a flat — one could be found for as little as $200 a month plus $50 in utilities — but this would only be recommended for those who are independent and have lived and worked overseas before. A list of recommendations will be provided to interns prior to departure.
Our Community in the News:
Unique Khmer Silver Plate Is Returned to Cambodia
In a grand ceremony an artifact rare in kind was returned to the Cambodian Government. The artifact, a 12th century silver plate, gives a rare and unstudied look into the golden age Angkor Empire.
Ancient Statue Sits in Limbo as Rights Question Looms
Tulane Law Professor Herbert Larson and Siena Program Professor Colonel Matthew Bogdanos contribute to this New York Times article on a dispute between the Cambodian Government and Sotheby's over the manner in which a 250-pound statue left Cambodia, and whether it was legal or not.
Cambodia Vs. Sotheby's In A Battle Over Antiquities
NPR's Anthony Kuhn covers the ongoing legal battle between Cambodia and Sotheby's in this recent article. There is also an available link from the article to listen to the Story on NPR's segment, All Things Considered.
Seeking Return of Art, Turkey Jolts Museums
An aggressive campaign by Turkey to reclaim antiquities it says were looted has led in recent months to the return of an ancient sphinx and many golden treasures from the region’s rich past. But it has also drawn condemnation from some of the world’s largest museums, which call the campaign cultural blackmail.
Vienna Jewish Museum Chided Over Nazi Loot
When the Jewish Museum of Vienna was founded in 1988 it was entrusted with safeguarding the art, books and Judaica that survived the Nazis’ attempt to exterminate their owners. But now, 25 years later, the museum has acknowledged it may be in possession of hundreds of items that were looted during the war and not returned to the families who lost them. If most museums focus on protecting and displaying their collections, Jewish museums, according to Marc Masurovsky, a founder of the Holocaust Art Restitution Project, have a dual mission: to serve as custodians of a heritage and to research and return recovered objects.
Dispute Over Bill on Borrowed Art
The lending and borrowing of famous artworks is the essence of cultural exchange between museums in the United States and abroad. In recent years, though, American museum directors have come to fear that this safeguard has eroded, and that foreign museums, dreading entanglement in costly ownership battles, are more hesitant to make loans. So they have asked Congress to increase the security for global art swaps, causing an unexpected storm of protest from those who say it goes too far in blocking efforts by owners to recover looted treasures.
The Met Will Return a Pair of Statues to Cambodia
A few weeks ago the Metropolitan Museum of Art sent two of its top executives to Cambodia to resolve a thorny dispute: whether two pieces of ancient Khmer art that the museum has long prominently exhibited were the product of looting.In days they had their answer...
Metropolitan Museum says it will return Cambodian statues
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to return two ancient statues to Cambodia after receiving convincing evidence they had been looted and smuggled out of the country illegally.
Not for Our Tragedy Alone
The genocide committed by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime earns a place in Washington’s Holocaust Museum. For the first time in its 20-year history, the American museum was carrying out plans to add a display about the Cambodian nightmare to its story of the Holocaust.
Museum Leaders Toughen Artifact Acquisition Guidelines
The Association of Art Museum Directors has voted to strengthen rules requiring museums to publish pictures and information about antiquities they have acquired that might be subject to questions of looting.