painting and photographic works

Securing an Exhibit – Questions to Ask.

I was recently involved  in discussions with an art organization about technology options for securing an art exhibition. Unfortunately, theft of art, especially from exhibits in public spaces, does occur. There are an increasing number of options for monitoring and alarming an exhibit and the financial commitment can be significant. Without going into technical specific of different options, I recommend stepping back and asking yourself a few general questions.

The questions to ask relate to what you are expecting the security solution to do for you and what it can realistically be expected to deliver:

  1. Will it be a deterrent to theft? Will potential thieves be aware that there is a security system and be scared away from attempting anything?
  2. Will it help stop a thief in the act? Would the system trigger some sort of visible or audible alarm that might make a thief run away without completing their dirty work?
  3. Will it help recover a stolen work? Does the system have a way of tracking the stolen piece or provide a means of identifying the thief (e.g. a video recording)?
  4. Will it help the reimburse the artist for a stolen work? Maybe what’s needed is theft insurance?

There will probably be lots of other considerations but these questions should help an organization check if their expectations and deliverables from a security solution are a match.

If the technology does nothing more than tell you a piece of art has been stolen, is that really worth paying for?

post script: As a commenter (@lauxmyth) on my twitter feed mentioned “We do have to remind folks at times to balance alarms/camera with the locks/doors and INSURANCE”. The best security will be multi-faceted but you have to think about what is necessary/desirable and what you can afford.

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