Locked Up With Art. How to Keep Your Visitors, Staff, and Collection Safe During a Lockdown
1:25 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.| Tuesday, October 18th
In this presentation, we will explore how museums can successfully execute a lockdown procedure facing external threats to their visitors, staff, and art collections. We focus on 1) setting decisive conditions for a lockdown, 2) communicating with the public before, during, and after the procedure, and 3) securing the collection during the procedure.
As European countries generally do not encounter active shooters or school intruders, it is not common practice to design or drill lockdown procedures, contrary to our extensive experience with emergency evacuations and other contingency plans. Research shows that U.S. schools and university campuses have garnered experience with different kinds of lockdowns, drilling children and students against internal or external threats. The Ghent Museum of Fine Arts together with the Ghent local police developed a lockdown procedure based on the following scenarios: 1) external threat caused by riots or social unrest, 2) internal threat caused by (armed) intruders, 3) shelter-in-place because of an external health hazard, and 4) full lockdown caused by an imminent and serious threat for all people present.
We will present our results of a large and extensive lockdown drill carried out during the summer of 2022 with museum protection staff, volunteers, and local police.