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Protecting a Nations Collections: Sensitivity to Cultures in Museum Security

The U.K. has 23 Government-sponsored museums, galleries, libraries and archives located in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales offering free admission to all visitors. There is a larger group which receives indirect funding from different U.K. Government Ministries and over 2,000 non-government venues who borrow in or lend loans from their own collections. The U.K. in London is renowned for its Art Market and trends in recent years have shown that stolen art objects (e.g. Rhino horn and Chinese Jade) now command huge demand and value in a new “Underworld Market.”

The respect given to these objects is diminished when seen as currency by organized and contracted criminals engaged to acquire these objects using extreme methods including weapons, violence, intimidation, and threats.

Communicating these risks to staff at cultural venues continues to be a problem and this presentation is intended to raise the profile of risks to all of our collections, and appeal to those who hold influence to ensure risks are identified and threats are met with planned and adequate resources.


William Brown

William Brown

National Security Adviser, Arts Council England


Fullerton Hall

Fullerton Hall

Built in 1898, Fullerton Hall was added to the north side of the museum's main-floor lobby in an area that had once been an open court. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the exquisite stained-glass dome, which still illuminates the auditorium today.

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