INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FORCULTURAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
Reposted from the Irish Examiner
Trinity College warned of the risk of a fire like that which struck Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral in an application for €25m in Government funding to redevelop its historic Old Library.
It said a “litany of destructive fires” at historic buildings around the world illustrated the risks of deterioration and damage to the library, which houses the Book of Kells.
The university wrote directly to Taoiseach Micheál Martin seeking financial support and saying the fire at Notre Dame “underscores the urgency of the project”.
It said it had been 50 years since any major work had taken place at the Old Library and that it was now in “vital need” of upgrading.
Trinity also warned the damage to Ireland’s reputation if anything were to happen to the library’s famous Long Room or the Book of Kells would be “incalculable”.
It said Trinity’s location in the heart of the city and surrounded by “very busy roads” was already causing damage to the library’s collections.
The submission said that due to pollution, the 300,000 volumes on exposed shelving in the Long Room were “coated in dirt, dust, and particulate pollution”.
It said: “This is deleterious to the books and represents a potential fire hazard.”
The university said the ongoing environmental harm to the precious collection of manuscripts was a “quiet disaster”.
The submission said research facilities at the library were also sub-optimal, meaning some volumes could not even be accessed during certain times of the year due to humidity and temperature.
It said reading spaces were “cramped and lacking in environmental control” and that many major world universities with historic libraries were currently undertaking major restoration programmes.
Trinity also said the visitor experience for those wanting to see the Book of Kells was designed nearly 30 years ago and intended for 250,000 visitors a year. It said a new revitalised space would bring visitors through the history of the book in an “imaginative and contemporary way”.
“Currently, the visitor enters the exhibition through a shop, which is small, cramped, and wasteful use of space in a beautiful historic building,” the submission said.
Details of how much Trinity plans to spend on the refurbishment project have been withheld under Freedom of Information, apart from the €25m it sought from Government.
The university would also be using its own resources, as well as seeking philanthropic support, with an undisclosed amount of money already pledged.
The Taoiseach said he supported the commitment of €25m in funding spread out over five years.
The Taoiseach wrote: “I believe that this project is an unmissable opportunity to preserve what is a vital part of our national and indeed global heritage and that it should proceed as soon as possible with full Government support.”
In response, Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said he too supported the plan “notwithstanding the challenge” the investment would have on budgets for built heritage in his department.
A spokesman for the Department of Housing said it had been happy to support the plan, which was of “global significance” and a once-in-a-century project.
He said: “Trinity has been a custodian of this national treasure for centuries, caring and protecting it for all our benefit.
“It is iconic but also fragile and in need of protection. Its contents have educated centuries of scholars and – protected appropriately – that unique collection can continue to do so far into the future.”
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Reposted from Axios
Employees' mental health is quickly becoming a top concern for companies as they try to hold on to workers through the pandemic.
Why it matters: The firms that confront mental health are poised to win the war for talent.
"These days there are worker shortages everywhere," says Chris Swift, CEO of The Hartford, a financial services and insurance company. Mental health is a massive contributor to that, he says.
What's happening: The pandemic has dragged on, and people are dealing with even more loss and isolation — at the same time that America's opioid crisis has gotten worse. Burnout and addiction are seeping into the workplace.
It's harming workplaces.
Employers can help by providing resources, like mental health days and online therapy sessions. But middle managers must also play a key role, experts say.
But, but, but: Helping workers is not so simple. 72% of U.S. employers say stigmas associated with mental health and addiction are keeping workers from seeking help, per The Hartford's study. The more we talk about it, the faster the stigma goes away, Swift says.
What's next: As workforces transition to remote or hybrid, it'll be even more essential for managers to check in on employees' mental health, says Bryan Hancock, who leads McKinsey's global talent practice.
Reposed from Bloomberg
As Italy’s museums and galleries welcome back tourists and try to recoup some of the 190 million euros ($225 million) in revenue they lost last year, a new data project could help curators understand which paintings and sculptures will be their biggest draws.
A research team at the country’s new-technologies agency ENEA has developed a system based on devices that can calculate how long and how closely museum and gallery visitors observe a particular work of art.
Using cameras positioned near the artwork, the ShareArt system soaks up data on the number of observers and their behavior as they look at a painting, sculpture or artifact, including time elapsed and distance of observation.
That could help define “attraction value” for specific works of art, leading to changes in museum and gallery layout and exhibit scheduling, according to ENEA researchers Stefano Ferriani, Giuseppe Marghella, Simonetta Pagnutti and Riccardo Scipinotti.
Though the system originally conceived of by Scipinotti dates back to 2016, it’s only been rolled out for live trials in the last few weeks, following a government decision to fully reopen museums and galleries that had been largely shuttered due to the pandemic.
Fourteen ShareArt devices are being put through their paces in a joint project with the Istituzione Bologna Musei, using a site that offers researchers the chance to try out their technology on exhibits with a wide array of artworks of various forms, periods and sizes, without compromising observers’ privacy.
“Thanks to simple data elaboration, an observer’s gaze can be translated into a graphic,” Ferriani said in an interview. “We can detect where most of peoples’ attention is concentrated.”
Looking at Trophime Bigot’s Saint Sebastian Aided by Saint Irene, for example, “we realized that observers tended to focus not on the center of the composition, but slightly to the right of the saint’s face, thanks to the interplay of light and shadow created by the artist’s brush.”
ShareArt also tracks how many patrons stop in front of an artwork and how long they look. Very few works keep museum or gallery visitors “glued” to the spot for more than 15 seconds, the researchers said, with the average observation time at just 4 to 5 seconds.
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Some of the researchers’ findings have been unexpected. Examining observer data from the two sides of a 14th-century diptych by Vitale degli Equi, data showed that “attention was immediately attracted to the ‘busier’ representation of Saint Peter’s blessing, to the right,” said Bologna Musei President Roberto Grandi. He was surprised to find that many visitors simply skipped the diptych’s left half.
The data could lead to changes in lighting, staging and placement of artworks in relation to one another, Grandi said, with findings suggesting that museums and galleries might want to rethink how to make some paintings and sculptures more visible and accessible.
The life-sized statue of Apollo of Veii, dating back to 510-500 B.C., is a case in point, the researchers said. Though the statue is one of the crown jewels at Rome’s National Etruscan Museum, a separate test of ShareArt showed that relatively few visitors give it the attention experts feel it deserves. Placement near the end of the collection, possibly chosen in a “best-for-last” approach, may be leading patrons to skip the artifact altogether, ENEA’s Marghella said.
In addition to opening the doors to art lovers, Italy’s gradual relaxation of Covid restrictions adds another wrinkle for data hunters. As mask restrictions are dropped, advanced techniques may allow ShareArt to assess observers’ facial expressions, allowing researchers to match quantitative data with cognitive psychology analysis, Grandi said.
Reposted from Artnet News
The heat was suffocating on a recent summer afternoon atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s roof, where visitors jockeyed for selfies with the giant Big Bird perched on the artist Alex Da Corte’s sculptural mobile. An exasperated guard attempted to save the flightless fowl from the crowds, sweating in polyester pants as he shouted warnings.
Gallery attendants within the institution’s air-conditioned halls were also feeling the heat, saying that the lingering effects of layoffs and budget cuts have left them understaffed and overextended. Nowadays, security officers can be responsible for patrolling nearly a dozen galleries on their own—a job normally split between three people—leaving ample room for disasters to happen.
Patrons have physically attacked some employees. Recently, a guard discovered graffiti scrawled on marble sculptures in the museum’s Greek and Roman collection. There were drawings on the pedestals of the Medieval galleries. Another guard noticed that a vandal had painted white dots on the Rembrandts and Vermeers inside the Dutch Masters exhibition.
Now, employees say that the department responsible for keeping the Met and its visitors safe is struggling to function. Guards said they are expected to survey more galleries, work longer hours, and have received fewer breaks than usual. Vacation requests and medical leave are being denied because of staffing shortages, and some employees have complained that they haven’t had a free weekend since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson for the museum denied that any works in the Dutch Masters exhibition were damaged, and said the graffiti that appeared in the institution’s Greek and Roman galleries was only on pedestals, not on artworks. Additionally, the museum denies that there are fewer breaks than before; the spokesman also added that “no legitimate” medical claims have been denied, saying: “We are presently negotiating with the union to find an equitable resolution to the unusual circumstance brought upon by the unprecedented closure of 5 months during which staff was fully paid and continued to accrue vacation time.”
“Managers encourage using sick days because they won’t schedule us for vacation,” said one guard with more than a decade of experience at the museum. Like other employees interviewed for this article, they asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “Another guard ended up quitting her job because she had two babies and the museum wouldn’t be flexible with her schedule.”
During the pandemic, the Met reduced its staff by 20 percent and predicted a $150 million budget shortfall. Months of temporary closures severely reduced earned income at the museum. But the summer months have brought a surge in attendance.
In a recent email to the public, Daniel Weiss, the institution’s president and chief executive, announced that the museum has more than tripled its daily attendance figures since autumn, seeing more than 10,000 visitors come through its doors each day.
He described the museum as “strong and resilient,” detailing a $10 million grant from the federal government that it recently received. Simultaneously, he announced that the Met would again be open on Tuesdays and would resume extended evening hours on Friday and Saturdays—more work for an already exhausted security force.
“The public health and financial crises that all museums faced caused significant hardship at all levels of our institution,” a Met spokesperson told Artnet News, adding that the museum retained its full staff for many months during its temporary closure.
“We are elated that in recent days we have begun calling back laid-off security guards. At present, half of the laid-off security members have been recalled with more expected.”
Eight employees interviewed by Artnet News for this article said that the museum’s statement overestimated the numbers of security members who had rejoined staff. According to each of them, the security department lost nearly a third of its ranks during the pandemic.
More than 100 guards have been laid off and others received early retirement packages; everyone with fewer than three years of service was let go, including employees who worked long night shifts during the pandemic closure and were assured by managers that they would keep their jobs. (The museum says no guards were promised job protections.)
In March, the museum’s chief security officer, Keith Prewitt, resigned for a similar job at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. His replacement, Regina Lombardo, has been appointed but has yet to start the job, leaving some guards feeling like they don’t have a champion at work.
“There is a hierarchy of who gets listened to at the Met,” said one employee. “The security guards are at the bottom of the pecking order.”
One guard said that they doubted that colleagues in the education or curatorial departments took notice of their plight, saying that warm greetings from other staffers have been rare in their six years at the institution. Security officers are also increasingly frustrated with their union, which has tried to address issues with the Met.
Representatives declined to go into detail, but Freddi Goldstein, a spokesperson for District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said that the union officials were “currently in the middle of negotiations on these issues and absolutely are fighting for the benefit of our members.” The union did not respond to any of the specific claims laid out here.
According to four union members, the organization is considering whether to file an official grievance in preparation for legal action against the museum.
Many guards are artists who joined the museum for health insurance and the opportunity for face time with the collection’s famous Picassos and Pollocks. The pay is relatively low, starting with a $15 minimum wage, and rising slowly with each year of service. One current employee said they currently receive about $19 per hour after work at the Met since 2007. A former guard said that he left the museum after 18 years to become a doorman on the Upper West Side because it paid better.
“We are overworked and covering huge areas of the museum,” said one guard who has worked at the museum for nearly five years. “We want the museum’s leaders to notice that the guards are feeling like they are in a precarious position.”
Five guards said that they currently felt unsafe at work because of the reduced number of officers and rule changes. When the Met overhauled its visitor policies for the pandemic, it temporarily closed the coat check stations and introduced metal detectors. But the rules barring visitors from bringing certain items into the galleries have been loosely enforced, employees said, putting them on edge.
“If something goes wrong, there is nobody to help,” said a guard with more than a decade of experience at the museum. “Someone was having a panic attack in the stairwell. I needed to check if they were all right, but that meant leaving the entire Roman courtyard unattended with nearly a hundred visitors roaming around.”
A lack of supervision leads to a rise in vandalism, according to museum experts.
“What they do is a form of security theater,” said Erin Thompson, an art-crime professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “Museum guards act as a deterrent by putting on a show of security that makes everyone realize they are being watched.”
Thompson also expressed concern that a reduction in security officers has made the Met less welcoming to visitors. “The guards are the frontline of museum education,” she added. “People usually ask them questions about the art, but they might have to refuse to answer because they need to keep an eye out for vandals.”
Guards agreed with the assessment, saying that they were now responsible for answering the types of questions that laid-off visitors’-services staff would typically receive. “We don’t have time to do our primary job,” said one security officer, “which is to keep the art and people safe.”
And with the museum extending its hours, security guards worry that their lives are about to get even harder. Some employees are considering a walkout. (The museum said more hours would enable it to bring back more guards.)
“According to our contracts and the insurance rules for the museum, they need guards on the floor,” said one guard, adding that they haven’t had a free weekend for 10 months. “If it wasn’t for us, they would close. And all we want is some respect.”
Reposted from AAM
Less than three weeks after COVID forced museums around the globe to close their doors last year, an article by Arundhati Roy in The Financial Times titled “The Pandemic is a Portal” stopped me in my tracks. In the midst of an exponentially mounting crisis, Roy courageously sounded the call to resist the urge to seek a return to normality. She offered up an alternative, and posed a challenge to us all:
“[The pandemic] is a portal,” she wrote, “a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, . . . and dead ideas. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
At the 106-year-old Museum of Us (formerly the San Diego Museum of Man), which sits on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay Nation, we took Roy’s challenge to heart. Over the past sixteen months, our driving question has been: How can we emerge from the pandemic’s portal to become a better version of ourselves? And while our answer has taken a wide variety of forms (including a long-overdue name change), key shifts in our human resources policies and practices are making the biggest impact of all.
You see, faced with so many unknowns at the onset of COVID, we made the heartbreaking decision to terminate forty-three employees in June 2020. As difficult as it was for us, the pain was far worse, of course, for our colleagues who lost their livelihoods. Although we took many different steps to support our furloughed, and ultimately terminated, team members, it simply wasn’t enough. So, we set out to ensure that something good came out of the harm we caused by laying them off from their employment. Specifically, we committed to rebuild our team (and, in turn, our organization) in more equitable and decolonial ways.
Here are some steps we have taken so far.
As we prepared to reopen our museum consistent with public health guidelines, instead of returning to our old staffing model, we decided to reimagine our forward-facing roles altogether. Specifically, we changed our Visitor Experience Associate position from part-time to full-time, so that every team member would receive our generous benefits package, including a new retirement match of up to 6 percent. We also raised the position’s wage from $13.75 an hour to $20 an hour, committing to annual cost-of-living increases (at a minimum). That way, we will continue to stay ahead of pay equity, rather than losing ground every year. We also redesigned the role so that it is a long-term career position, with an increased focus on opportunities for professional development and growth within our organization. Finally, we are in the process of adopting a reasonable cap (likely in the range of 6:1) on what the highest-paid employee (currently, me) makes relative to what the lowest-paid employee (our forward-facing staff) makes. This will help make our entire compensation structure more equitable going forward.
The Museum of Us offers team members thirteen paid holidays every calendar year. Historically, these have been set holidays designated by the museum as mandated days off. But thanks to input from our BIPOC staff, we’ve come to understand how many of those holidays are deeply rooted in a colonial paradigm: New Year’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. In response, we decided to revise our holiday policy, effective January 1, 2022, to allow team members to substitute (and even group together) holidays that are meaningful to them. Employees still may choose to take any or all museum-designated holidays, if they wish, but the power to decide will become theirs. We are excited about changing this seemingly innocuous practice so that it better supports all of our team members in a decolonized way.
Like most employers, the Museum of Us offers various types of paid leave, including vacation and sick time. But when our Indigenous team members shared that they needed time off to participate in multi-day ceremonies in their home communities, they pointed out the obvious: Their absence from the office was neither “vacation” nor “sick” time. To the contrary, it was hard work, centered around cultivating community well-being. It was for the good of many, and for future generations, not for their personal enjoyment or convalescence. We soon realized the ripple effect of good that could come from enabling all of our employees to take paid time off to do the same.
We considered classifying such leave as “professional development,” but quickly saw the ways this would run afoul of applicable employment laws. So, we settled on a new paid leave category altogether. We call it “Community-Centered Leave,” and it is specifically designed to encourage employees to support their communities in ways that are meaningful to them. Effective January 1, 2022, every team member at the Museum of Us may take up to three days of paid Community-Centered Leave per year.
The result of these changes? Well, it’s still early, but we’ve discovered that employee satisfaction and engagement rates have gone up significantly. And, just as happy nurses make for happy patients, happy forward-facing staff make for happy visitors. Employee retention rates have gone up as well, leading to a plethora of intangible (but also invaluable) benefits. We now have a more stable institutional culture with stronger, more capable teams. Projects have fewer stops and starts. We expend less bandwidth recruiting, orienting, and training new employees. And the list goes on.
Although the benefits of human-centered HR practices are undeniable, they can be hard to see from a short-term perspective. When we play the long-game, however, they become crystal clear. I find three concerns commonly emerge in response to these kinds of shifts:
For sure, these changes have a tangible impact on the bottom line. I would suggest, however, that while maintaining the status quo may save a few bucks on the profit and loss statement, most of our organizations are dying a slow death by a thousand cuts, without us even realizing it. This prevents them from ever truly soaring in a healthy way. The benefits of taking a human-centered approach (starting with the very people upon whom the visitor experience depends!) will far outweigh the associated costs in the long run, particularly when implemented in an intentional way. The key is to move from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance. Viewed through this lens, the script flips and it becomes clear: “We just can’t afford not to put our people first.”
Yes, they will, but only when they aren’t fairly compensated and/or respected for their labors. This is a cultural problem, not a justification for maintaining the status quo. When an employer and an employee have entered into a fair exchange and have mutual respect for one another, they honor each other, too. It may take time to build up trust and goodwill, but the kinds of practices described above will do just that. When leaders consistently show up as listeners and learners, and then do better as they know better, the path to right relationship begins to unfold.
Yes, it can. But liability is not a weakness in and of itself. When managed creatively and in human-centered ways, it can even be converted into a strength. Our Community-Centered Leave is a great example. While an employee could argue that this leave should be subject to the same rules as vacation (including pay-out upon separation), our policy clearly distinguishes between the purpose of the leave (serving one’s community) and that of vacation (personal enjoyment). Moreover, from an employee perspective, we are providing three additional paid days off per year in a values-consistent way. As a key component of our employee recruitment, retention, engagement, and satisfaction strategies (particularly relative to our BIPOC team members), this new policy will undoubtedly pay significant dividends for years to come. I’ll take that benefit-to-risk ratio any day.
I’ll close this post by sharing that, for the Museum of Us, all this is just the tip of the iceberg. The more we learn about how our policies and practices undermine the values we espouse, the more we realize how much more we have to learn. Like so many of our organizations, the Museum of Us continues to be full of hypocritical disconnects between who we strive to be and who we actually are. I believe that, as leaders, we must relentlessly work to identify and bridge those gaps, one by one, in the name of equity and inclusion. And what better place to start than from the inside out?
Reposted from Fast Company
After a year of social distancing, mask-wearing, and–for millions–working from home, many employers are eager to bring their staff back to the office. But for many, the prospect of readjusting to in-person work is a daunting one.
A recent survey found that out of 4,553 office workers in five different countries, every single person reported feeling anxious about the idea of returning to in-person work.
Employers face a conflict of interest. On the one hand, they want to look after their employees’ health and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. While on the other, they’re motivated by financial incentives to justify expensive office rents and have their employees physically on hand for meetings and discussions or to simply monitor their working time.
But putting pressure on employees to return to the office might be creating more anxiety. For those surveyed, the top causes of return-to-work stress included being exposed to COVID-19, the loss of work flexibility, the added commute, having to wear a mask while in the office, and a need for childcare.
Some managers recognize working from home doesn’t necessarily mean reduced productivity, and a “work-from-anywhere” approach could drive greater equality, unlock new growth opportunities, and lead to greater ethical behavior. When people aren’t wasting hours in traffic, the free time unlocked from commutes can lead to more rested, happier, healthier, and productive employees.
What’s worrying, though, is that 56% of respondents in the recent study reported that their organization hadn’t asked for their opinions about return-to-work policies and procedures. Such a breakdown in communication between employees and employers could create anxiety for those employees who don’t want, or are not yet ready, to return to their physical workplaces. They may worry that voicing their concerns to return to work will signal distrust in their managers’ decision to reopen for in-person work.
I’ve studied advice-giving and advice-taking for over a decade and found that people getting advice often struggle to signal distrust to their advisor. People often feel anxiety to express disagreement with or defy an advisor, a boss, manager, leader, or authority figure. Rejecting advice makes employees anxious because it can insinuate that they think the other person is incompetent, biased, or even corrupt.
I call this distinct type of anxiety insinuation anxiety. It arises when people worry that not complying with another person’s wishes may be interpreted as a signal of distrust.
Across a series of studies investigating this type of anxiety, my collaborators and I found that patients frequently follow medical advice, even if they believe their doctor to have a conflict of interest.
Imagine someone’s trying to sell you some advice, an opinion, or a product, and the seller says: “I have a conflict of interest. I recommend you follow my advice, but I should let you know that I get paid more if you follow my advice.” You might think such disclosure would decrease trust and compliance with such advice–after all, there’s now some uncertainty as to the quality of that advice.
However, I found that although conflict of interest disclosures do indeed decrease trust in advice–arguably the “correct” response to such disclosures–they can also counterintuitively increase compliance with that distrusted advice.
Why? Because the other person now feels greater pressure to comply with advice they do not trust, as rejecting it insinuates that the other person has been corrupted by the conflict of interest and is untrustworthy. People are reluctant to signal distrust in another person. Insinuation anxiety persists regardless of the size of the conflict of interest, but it can be reduced if people can make their decisions in private, away from the pressure of their advisor or employer.
As employees navigate the shift back to in-person work, employers should consider the role of insinuation anxiety increasing pressure on their workers to reluctantly comply with new in-person work policies. If employees feel unable to express their discomfort or choose more flexible working options, organizations may end up losing their best talent to workplaces with more open communication and flexibility.
Reposted from Museums Association
Museums appear to have made little change to their Covid safety measures despite the easing of legal restrictions in England this week.
Many venues, including the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London, are still operating at reduced capacity and asking visitors to book tickets in advance to limit numbers, although they do accept walk-ups if space allows.
Some museums, including smaller institutions such as the Museum of Freemasonry in London, have dropped their requirement for timed entry tickets.
Most have changed the terminology they use in relation to mask wearing, but are continuing to recommend or encourage that visitors wear masks in enclosed spaces.
One museum director told Museums Journal that the dropping of restrictions has led to concern among staff, particularly younger front-of-house workers who are not yet fully vaccinated, about their own safety, as well as the difficulty of confronting visitors who refuse to adhere to restrictions. She said her museum had reassured staff that there would be no change to its existing safety measures or messaging as a result.
Sector organisations have urged museums and galleries to prioritise public safety under the new rules.
Museums Association director Sharon Heal said: “As restrictions are lifted in England museums might want to retain some measures voluntarily such as mask wearing, extra hygiene procedures and social distancing, depending on their local context. In all cases museums should put the interests of staff, volunteers and visitors first and make sure that all appropriate measures are taken to ensure everyone’s safety on site.”
The National Museum Directors’ Council has updated its reopening guidance to state that, while face coverings are no longer required by law, “the government expects and recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings, to protect themselves and others”.
The guidance also advises museums to continue to collect visitor contact details for NHS Test and Trace, although this is no longer a legal requirement.
Arts Council England (ACE) has called on cultural venues to ensure an inclusive reopening that gives “disabled and clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) colleagues, performers and visitors the support and flexibility they need to take advantage of reopening like everyone else”.
The arts council says that now that more discretion is allowed, it is expecting organisations “to take steps to ensure this is the case”.
In guidance published last week, it stated: “In considering which measures to maintain, organisations should consider the specific needs of disabled and CEV people. We strongly recommend talking with disabled and CEV employees, creative practitioners and audiences if you are not clear about their needs in relation to your organisation at this time.”
The arts council says it will provide further guidance and spotlight good practice in the coming weeks.
ACE chair Nicholas Serota said: “As the lights are switched back on in venues, the principle of inclusivity must be applied in organisations. Our ambition is that the sector that emerges from the pandemic is one that offers talent from all quarters the chance to succeed, one that embraces audiences from all backgrounds, and one that endeavours for its performance and exhibition spaces to be accessible to all.”
Reposted from the Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento History Museum was closed Saturday morning after a person broke into the museum and stole gold artifacts.
At 5:15 a.m., video showed, someone broke into the main entrance of the museum in Old Town Sacramento. They went directly to an upstairs gallery and stole gold artifacts out of a display case, exiting the museum three minutes after entering.
Delta Pick Mello, the executive director of the museum, told The Bee that all alarm systems worked properly but the person was gone by the time police arrived. She added that the thief attempted to break into three display cases but was only able to open one, indicating that some security measures worked.
“The museum has been here for 36 years and this is the first time this has happened,” Pick Mello said. “So we feel our security measures are there; this just is something that took place within three minutes.”
Museum officials do not yet have an estimate for the value of the stolen items, but did note that they were fully made of gold.
Pick Mello said that the surveillance cameras did not give a clear view of the suspect’s face. The Sacramento Police Department is investigating, using the video, fingerprints and other evidence.
The museum was closed as officials cleaned up damage at the front entrance and continued to survey the crime scene. Pick Mello expects the museum to re-open in the afternoon, though museum employees will close off the portion of the upstairs gallery that the break-in targeted.
Hours have not changed for the Old Town Sacramento underground tours operating out of the museum.
Reposted from CNN
A wall of ice collapsed Monday at the Titanic Museum Attraction, injuring three visitors to the popular tourist spot in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains.
The Pigeon Forge Fire Department arrived at the museum at 8:11 p.m. after getting a 911 call reporting a traumatic incident, Chief Tony L. Watson told CNN.
Firefighters helped first responders triage the victims and prepare them for transport.
One patient was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville about 30 miles away, Watson said. The other two were taken by ambulance to LeConte Medical Center in Sevierville. Their conditions have not been released.
"Needless to say, we never would have expected an incident like this to occur as the safety of our guests and crew members are always top of mind. We take pride in the quality of our maintenance and have measures in place to ensure that appropriate safety guidelines are upheld," owners Mary Kellogg Joslyn and John Joslyn said in a statement posted on the museum's Facebook page.
"Something caused that ice to fall off of that wall," Watson said.
Staff had closed the museum and were clearing the area by the time firefighters arrived. "The Titanic staff did an excellent job of getting people away from the area and downstairs then evacuating them out of the building," Watson said.
The museum reopened on Tuesday, according to a post on its Facebook page.
Reposted from The Art Newspaper
Museum security officers, the people who probably spend the most time looking at art, will soon be organising an exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) as guest curators. The show Guarding the Art, due to open in March 2022, will bring together a selection of works that resonate with each of the 17 participating officers, and offer “different perspectives from within the museum hierarchy”, says the curator and art historian Lowery Stokes Sims, who helped develop the project.
“The security officers are guarding the art, interacting with the public and seeing reactions from visitors that most museum staff don’t have access to from our offices,” Stokes Sims says. “I was struck and moved by the extraordinarily personal, cogent arguments that each officer made for their selection, which was so different from the intellectual and filtered approach that a trained curator would take.”
For example, officer Ricardo Castro chose a series of Pre-Columbian sculptures “as a means to inject some of my Puerto Rican-America culture in the exhibition”, while Dereck Mangus selected a painting by a local self-taught painter called Thomas Ruckle titled House of Frederick Crey (1830-35) that partly depicts the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. “The painting was hung salon-style in the American Wing and stuck out among all these other disparate images,” Mangus says. “It’s a glimpse into an old Baltimore by a Baltimore-centric artist that most people have never heard about before, and it shows the neighbourhood I live in.”
Kellen Johnson, who has a background in classical singing and performance, chose Max Beckmann’s Still Life with Large Shell (1939). “It’s a portrait of his second wife, Matilda, who was a violinist and gave up her career to support Beckmann and his painting aspirations,” Johnson says. “His first wife was also an opera singer, and I felt that this painting reflected my own trajectory as an operatic singer.”
The other officers taking part in the exhibition are Traci Archable-Frederick, Jess Bither, Ben Bjork, Melissa Clasing, Bret Click, Alex Dicken, Michael Jones, Rob Kempton, Chris Koo, Alex Lei, Dominic Mallari, Sara Ruark, Joan Smith and Elise Tensley. They are now working with museum staff to determine the installation design and to generate a catalogue and develop public programmes around the exhibition.
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