In May of 2022, a visitor to the Louvre in Paris smeared cake on the bulletproof glass case that the Mona Lisa painting is encased in.
Someone threw a teacup at the Mona Lisa’s case in 2009.
In 1974, someone spray painted the Mona Lisa’s case. In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre.
In a publication called Museum Security: The Art of Alarms, it says, “Thieves usually don’t slither past detectors during museum heists.
They pay their six bucks, walk in as members of the public, stay behind after closing by hiding behind the draperies or under a bench, and smash the window to get out.”
This dispels a lot of what we see in movies about high-tech art thieves and vandals.
Don’t be fooled–good security is crucial. If the art is on public display, have well-paid, highly-trained security personnel on-site.
Ensure they make eye contact with each visitor and personally greet everyone.
Little things like this go a long way toward reducing incidences of vandalism but also give your security team a good idea of who needs to have an extra eye on them.
This innovative new security camera system has motion detectors that can alert your security team to potential vandals.
Art Sentry allows you to program “secure zones” around each piece of artwork and sends an audible alarm out if a would-be vandal crosses that threshold.
MuralShield is a consolidant that gets sprayed over a mural for protection against vandalism or weather damage.
What is a consolidant? It chemically fuses together paint layers, restores faded or damaged pigments, and allows vandal marks to simply be washed away.
Since murals are the type of art most likely to be vandalized, MuralShield looks like a great investment.
Like the glass case that played such a big role in keeping the Mona Lisa safe.
These types of cases protect against finger smudges, UV rays, and fading.
The glass for these cases is coated with a UV protector–much like a sunscreen for the case.
Many museums actually coat their windows with UV protectors as well (for the few windows they do have).
In Glass Magazine, Amie Geremia, a staff member from the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, said that a painting allowed to be in the sun for just one day would have noticeable fading.
In addition to motion detectors, you can also protect art from vandalism with vibration sensors.
Vibration detectors, or seismic sensors, are sensitive enough to know when even a light touch is occurring on the surface of a piece of artwork.
If the detectors are triggered, just like with the Art Sentry camera system, an alert is sent instantaneously to your security center.
These vibration detectors can be completely customized, and multiple detectors can be placed around one piece of art.
The system, generally placed in a painting’s frame, is also smart enough to tell the difference between the vibration of a child running by versus the vibration of a would-be vandal.
Insurance is a key ingredient in protecting any art collection. Contact FACE Insurance today to see how we can help you have peace of mind that no one is waiting to smear cake all over your valuable work of art. Call: 916-721-2845