The congress organisation reports to the board of the AiA foundation and comprises
Milko den Leeuw – Congress Organiser – is a painting conservator specialized in the technical and scientific investigation of paintings. He completed his training in conservation and Pictology (an analytical method for attribution and evaluation of paintings) at the studio Dora van Dantzig in Amsterdam in 1989. After an internship on a project of seventeenth century Dutch masters, he founded the Atelier for Restoration & Research of Paintings (ARRS) in 1991. Since then Milko den Leeuw has worked for many museums, art dealers and private collectors all over the world. He has authored numerous publications that have appeared in museum catalogues, international peer-review journals and conference papers.
ARRS has produced numerous international publications concerning new techniques in authentication research and rediscoveries of paintings. ARRS has been involved in the conservation of important masters in Dutch Fine Art such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Hendrick ter Brugghen and Gerard ter Borch and has contributed to the rediscovery of paintings by Jan Lievens, Capser Netscher and Quinten Matsijs. ARRS has also performed conservation and research on National Art Treasures like the ceiling dating from 1672 by Gerard de Lairesse from the International Court for Peace & Justice in The Hague, and projects on Italian masters such as Giovanni Bellini and Canaletto, French masters such as Manet and Degas, German masters such as Lucas Cranach and Max Beckmann, Russian masters as Kazimir Malevich and Nathalia Goncharova and American masters such as Andy Warhol and Paul Thek.
ARRS has also assisted in court cases such as the 20-year-old forgery lawsuit concerning the Dutch group ‘Groninger Ploeg Painters’ that was resolved by ARRS investigations. In high appeal the Dutch Court of Law sentenced that the disputed paintings were fakes. The forger did not plead guilty for selling or making these fake paintings. For the very first time in history a painting forger did not confess the pressed charges before a verdict of a court was reached. The applied protocol on basis of objective technical investigation, delivered by ARRS, was the basis of this unique jurisprudence. ARRS holds a worldwide reputation for bridging art history, conservation technique and material sciences. ARRS brings expertise and experience for more than 25 years of cooperative work with auctioneers, private collectors, museum conservators, art advisors, legal advisors, committees of catalogue raisonnées and students
Oliver Spapens – Congress co-Organiser – is a student Law, as well as Early Modern Art at Leiden University. Oliver has worked as paralegal at several law firms both Dutch and International. He has done several internships focused on History of Law, including an internship at the Peace Palace Library. He was assistant at the 66th conference of the Société Internationale ‘Fernand de Visscher’ pour l’Histoire des Droits de l’Antiquité (SIHDA). He gained art historical experience at the Dutch National Museum for Antiquities. He has been working for Authentication in Art since 2013. He is involved with the Authentication in Art Mediation Board and is one of the co-organizers of the 2014 and 2016 Authentication in Art Congress. He also works at indentifying, analysing, interpreting and commenting on lawsuits on the intersection of Art and Law for the Authentication in Art Foundation