RITHMS (Research, Intelligence and Technology for Heritage and Market Security)


RITHMS aims at building and validating a prototype Intelligence resource, i.e. an innovative, interoperable and multifunctional platform able to identify criminal organised networks involved in the illicit trafficking in cultural property and to provide investigators with information on potentially looted objects as well as support predictive outputs to prevent future criminal developments.

At its core, the platform will be based on Social Networks Analysis (SNA), which is a way of understanding human behaviour through people’s relations and interactions. The SNA platform will improve the efficiency of the existing databases by supplying intelligence from open-access material to be checked against the content already available to law enforcement agencies and organisations.

The Project intends also to define a global strategy to effectively counter the challenges in addressing the trafficking of stolen cultural goods as well as the financial aspects, and thus have a tangible positive impact on European citizens, society and civil life. RITHMS’s overall objective is to provide in-depth knowledge, innovative technology and sustainable, replicable solutions against the illicit trafficking in cultural property.

It revolves around three main pillars (to detect, to react and to prevent) that imply three specific, intertwined actions: to research, to implement technological applications, and to define strategic protocols that can be synergically applied by stakeholders specialised in different fields (i.e., law enforcement agencies and organisations, Antiquities market professionals, Cultural Heritage professionals and researchers).

Start date
1 October 2022
36 months
Reference No.
Leading organization
Istituto Italiano di Technologia (IIT) - Center for Cultural Heritage Technology (CCHT)
European Institute
Project cover

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