Four Escapes from Prison
Four Escapes from Prison Four Escapes from Prison

Common Security Risks Associated With Art Exhibitions

Design week is almost upon us, and here at Pro-Secur we’re gearing up for this especially busy time of year. Art exhibitions may not seem like they warrant much protection, but in fact they’re often targeted by thieves. In many cases, this is because criminals expect security protocols at these events to be relatively lax. Today, we’ll look at a few of the most common challenges that security teams are faced with at these events.

High-Value Items

A picture might be worth 1,000 words, but sometimes a picture is worth that much in USD as well. A piece from a well-recognized artist may be worth many thousands of dollars. The presence of these high-value pieces can attract would-be thieves to art exhibitions hoping to dupe collectors into buying stolen merchandise.

Art theft isn’t nearly as uncommon as you might think, and sometimes it happens in places where you’d least expect it. Earlier this year, a painting valued at $800 was stolen from a Taco Bell in Westlake, Ohio. Just two months prior, a number of sculptures were stolen from the Denver Botanical Gardens when drunken thieves scaled the wall and stashed the sculptures in a nearby corn field.

Remember: no venue – not even a Taco Bell in Northern Ohio – is immune from art theft.

Large Spaces to Surveil

Exhibition spaces tend to employ large, open floor plans that allow visitors to step back and get a good view of the art on display. These floorplans are great for guests, but headaches for security forces. When held at indoor venues, exhibition spaces should always be protected by a CCTV network. Cameras should be directed at art pieces as well as any points of egress in the building. When held outdoors, small patrols should be dispatched throughout the area to maintain a constant, comprehensive security presence at the event.

Open Door Policies

Art exhibitions rarely have guest lists. Rather, passersby are invited to come in and view the exhibition space at their leisure. Likewise, the points of egress at these events should always be under surveillance. This will allow your security team to identify any potential threats early and track the path of escaping criminals in case of a theft.

Lack of an After-Hours Security Presence

More often than not, art thefts occur after exhibition spaces have been closed to the public for the evening. A single guard and CCTV system can not only serve as a powerful theft deterrent, but also allow local law enforcement agencies to react quickly in case of a break in.

Almost ready to unveil your next big art exhibition? The team at Pro-Secur can work with you to develop an effective, efficient plan to keep your event safe and secure. Give us a call today for more information.

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