The MAS museum in Antwerp has barely opened its doors and already a thief has been active on the premises. The theft of a power horn was reported yesterday afternoon by one of the guards. After teh discovery they upped the security and 'searched the visitors'.
Qudos to the thief for nabbing that horn. It was child's play really. No alarm, not in a lockable display case. And apparently no guards around to see someone meddling with an artefact. Director Paul Depauw said: 'We now know what the critical points are and how we have to deal with the public. There will be extra camera's and also 'do not touch'-signs. Some of the objects will be moved behind plexiglass walls'.
Sorry to roll my eyes here, but I seem to recall an article that appeared in The Economist not two weeks ago where Depauw says: “if you don't take care of objects, who is going to tell us stories about the past?”
Yes, and who is responsible for taking care of the objects and telling stories?
How can you not notice the critical points before opening. Never heard of a risk assesment?
And the measures that will be taken; they're as useful as fitting an alarm to a house that has already been burgled. Or, to use Tom Flynn's expression: that will be as effective as installing an ashtray on a motorcycle. Or in Blackadder's: as useful as a cat flap in an elephant house.
Tragic as though it is, this goes to show (again) the sheer naieveté Belgian museums have concerning thefts from public musea. Putting up 'do not touch'-signs. Will you believe it.
x-posted from The Art Detective blog.