I’ve had a ball this weekend researching things like “curtain motion detection,” glass-breakage alarms, and the debate between on- and off-premise monitoring. Museum security is an exact science that requires constant adapting (due to exhibits that change from flat paintings to 3d sculptures to fabric collage), plus a touch of redundancy ( a patron accidentally leaves a paper Mac-sack in front of a sensor). Fact is, things like perimeter surveillance and blanket motion sensors fascinate me.
From every source, however, I read the one thing that foils even the best security system is the low-tech threat.
More menacing than the cat burglar slipping in through an air vent, the thug who stays behind at closing time can pose a surprising threat to the system. Most museums have a work time after closing when motion alarms have to be turned off to allow for the staff to clean up, build displays, plan the next show, etc.
Impertinence ranges from “museumspotting,” where dimwits who have nothing better to do simply cross over boundaries to take their photo while laying on, conversing with, or kissing the exhibit, to just reaching into their pocket during museum hours and spray-painting a Picasso “for revolution” to actually deciding to put their own artwork in the museum as in the case of Banksy below.
Whoda thunk that the real problem was keeping art OUT?