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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Picasso Sketchbook Theft Proves Museum Display Cases are Weak Point !!

So, the display case was locked with an Allen key device after all.

However, these Allen key devices are normally universal because museums can have 20 or 30 display cases and they need to be able to access them without having 20-30 different Allen key devices.

So, the thieves just contact the display makers and either order a duplicate Allen key device on the pretext of owning a display case and they have lost their Allen key.

Better still, the thieves order and pay for an identical display case and they will receive their own set of Allen key devices.

Then the thieves can steal their prey at their leisure as in this case with the Picasso sketchbook.

It is a hole in security that museums have one or two universal Allen key devices to access the whole collection of display cases in their museum.

As a consequence display cases in museums are vulnerable and museums have been lulled into a false sense of security because they think their display cases are locked with the Allen key device therefore they don't focus other security measures on areas where display cases house iconic artifacts. CCTV cameras and security guards are focused on areas where artworks are on open display therefore exposing display cases that house iconic artifacts.

Still, this is all very well but does not help recover the Picasso sketchbook.

The destination of the Picasso sketchbook is what should be the focus and Art Hostage has already narrowed down the likely path which the Picasso sketchbook will take.

How Easy is it to Learn About Museum Security and Display Case Locking Devices ???

Abloy provide museum display cases and they give inside information at this link below which could be invaluable to thieves wanting to have access to museum display cases.

Cam locks can be fitted into almost any basic
display case design. Whether surface mounted
or concealed, they can be used to secure and
control access through glass doors, panels and
where appropriate into lighting compartments
and plinths.
Cam locks are available in various lenghts and
can provide key retention in the unlocked
position as an option.
Full technical information including
accessories can be found in ABLOY®
Cam Locks brochure.

Furniture locks can be surface mounted or
recessed to secure metal or timber display
cases with a choice of latch, straight or
hooked bolts.
The OF205 Security claw deadlock
illustrated here provides that extra level of
anti lift protection to deter attack against
hinged glass framed display cases.
Full technical information including
accessories can be found in ABLOY®
Office Furniture Locks brochure.

T-Handle locks are mounted internally
within free standing and wall mounted glass
display cases. They are designed to discreetly
secure removable doors. Similar measures are
used to secure smaller lift off glass topped and
hinged glass framed cabinets.
Only when locks are removed can access be
Deadlocking and latching variants are available.
Full technical information including
accessories can be found in ABLOY®
Cam Locks brochure.

Push Button locks provide the capability to
lock sliding timber or glass doors in variety
of storage cabinets or display cases.
The ABLOY®3421 shown here is part of the
extensive push button range and is designed
to secure tracked sliding doors.
Full technical information including
accessories can be found in ABLOY®
Office Furniture Locks brochure.

Should ABLOY® range not have a lock to
answer the needs of the customer it will
endeavour to design a product to meet the
specific requirements. Any such co-operation
is made with close contact between the
customer and the ABLOY® design team

Still think museum display cases are not at risk ????

How about this little investment for thieves:

The Manuel of Museum Planning gives insights into security that makes it easy for thieves to counter.

The preview of this book is free and contains valuable insights that could be useful to thieves.

The Picasso sketchbook theft was either done by an insider who had access to the Allen key device, or by cunning thieves who had done their homework well and executed their plan with daring, cunning and sheer audacity, in other words, Pink Panthers.
Picassos found at Zurich airport
October 15th 2008
A sketchbook containing 14 original Picasso drawings has been found in a spot check by customs officers at Zurich airport.
The Federal Culture Office said on the total market value of the sketches, dated May and June 1971, had been put at between SFr1.2 and 1.7 million ($1.06 million and $1.5 million).

Since there were no papers accompanying the sketchbook, it was sent to an auction house for valuation.

No details were given about the nationality of the passenger, or where he had come from. He was passing through the Nothing to Declare channel when he was asked to open his bags.

The Culture Office said the incident occurred two or three weeks ago.

The passenger violated three laws at once. He faces fines for trying to avoid paying customs duty and VAT, and he also broke the law on the international transfer of cultural property, under which cultural items must be declared even when they are in the possession of their rightful owner.

Meanwhile, the book has been returned to the passenger.
to be continued......................

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