Recommendation paper: Preventing theft from museums: security and recovery measures

museum theft

Museums find themselves in the ambiguous situation of having to protect their collection from threats such as fire, damage and theft on the one hand, while putting them on display and making them available for study on the other. As many items in museums are of cultural and artistic significance, they are irreplaceable, and the losses when they are stolen or damaged may exceed their market value. Fortunately, the theft of objects of cultural or artistic significance from museums can, to an extent, be prevented. In this paper, we will consider two prevention mechanisms. The first is target protection, i.e. the security measures that can be taken to make it harder to steal something from a museum. The second is reward reduction, that is, measures to increase the likelihood that stolen items will be successfully recovered and to make it harder to sell them, so that art theft becomes less attractive.

This paper is the EUCPN’s contribution to EMPACT OPC 2021 - OA 1.2 MUSEUM. The EUCPN Secretariat thanks the other participants and contributors: Italy (Action Leader), Europol, Spain, The Netherlands and Poland (Co-Leaders), and Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Romania and Sweden. Any inaccuracies in this paper are our own.

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