Please join us for another in our series of research seminars:
Title: Museums Security: New Perspectives
Speaker: Suzie Thomas, University of Helsinki, Finland
Wednesday 3 June
1 – 2pm
Room 1.06, 18 Windsor Terrace
Museums are an integral part of the cultural life of societies, with collections that may be of not only national but international significance. As well as intangible value, many objects may also have considerable financial value, and pose a temptation to thieves. Despite this, it has been noted that many museums have what can only be described as inadequate security provisions. In recent years, high profile art thefts from museums have only highlighted this situation. Furthermore, a range of other criminal activities, such as vandalism and other anti-social behaviours can also adversely affect museums and their surroundings, which in turn impacts sense of place and visitor experience. We also know that situational precipitators (for example
graffiti or vandalism that has been left unrepaired) can act as a cue that crime is accepted in an area – the small scale offences, in fact, can directly contribute to larger scale crimes, according for example to the Broken Windows Theory. In this paper I outline the interdisciplinary research with which researchers at the University of Helsinki and Loughborough University are currently involved, which aims to shed light on the specific security challenges faced by museums, covering our research methods and the emerging findings.
Dr Suzie Thomas is University Lecturer in Museology at the University
of Helsinki, Finland. She has previously worked at the University of
Glasgow and the Council for British Archaeology, and completed her PhD
in Heritage Studies at ICCHS in 2009.