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  • December 20, 2016 4:13 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Esq., CIPM

    Museums routinely protect their collections from threats of loss posed by theft, fire, natural disaster, and infrastructure failure. But do they effectively shield their collections from legal confiscations? To prevent artifacts from being seized by law enforcement, lawyers, or the courts, cultural institutions must guard against acquiring stolen or smuggled artifacts. They can do this by applying rigorous due diligence when performing provenance investigations.

    When a museum fails to acquire good title to an object because the object is stolen property, or when a museum finds itself in possession of illegally imported cultural contraband, then the illicit object may be seized either through a private lawsuit (called a replevin action); a civil forfeiture claim, usually brought by federal a prosecutor; a search warrant; or some other legal remedy that ultimately strips the artifact from the museum’s possession.

    If the artifact is stolen, then the rightful owner—usually a country like Italy, Greece, or Turkey in the case of a looted antiquities—will regain the property because, under the law, the owner never loses title to it. That is the result even if a museum acquires the stolen property in good faith, because an innocent purchaser generally cannot claim legal title to stolen property when confronted by the true owner. What’s more, the true owner is not required to pay compensation to a museum that is forced to surrender the stolen property, which means that a museum could lose thousands or millions of dollars. In addition, a museum that acquires specified archaeological or ethnological material that smugglers illegally imported into the United States in violation of federal customs rules must relinquish it. Federal authorities usually seize and forfeit this contraband before returning it to the country of origin.

    Many archaeological artifacts have been removed from museum display cases over the years because they were looted or smuggled. The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Getty Museum; and the Princeton Museum together have surrendered hundreds of looted and smuggled antiquities to Italian authorities in several highly publicized cases. The Dallas Museum of Art too returned six objects from its permanent collection to Turkey, including a pair of shields purchased from a dealer under investigation by U.S. Customs for several years. The same dealer was able to sell objects to at least eight major American art museums because no one carefully checked the goods he offered for sale. Cultural property watchers also remember a winter’s day in 2008 when federal agents in California raided the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Bowers Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum, and the Mingei Museum, armed with search warrants to “seize in place” ancient objects. That police investigation led to the felony convictions in 2015 of a pair art dealers who ran an antiquities import and tax fraud scheme involving antiquities originating from Burma, Cambodia, China, and Thailand. 

    Cases like these prompted some cultural institutions to make meaningful corrections. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts set the gold standard in 2010 with its addition of a curator for provenance, a full-time professional who carefully checks the collecting histories of objects. Operational improvements, like this one, have proven beneficial in today’s world where law enforcement and the public are more keenly aware that recently surfaced and undocumented ancient objects likely are the fruits of destroyed temples, plundered tombs, and vandalized ceremonial centers, which are sold on an art market that has earned a reputation for its lack transparency. Law enforcement and legal watchdogs, moreover, are on elevated alert after the FBI warned last year that antiquities trafficking may supply financial support to terrorists in the Middle East. For cultural institutions still lacking solid protective measures that guard against collecting illicit artifacts, this means that they will continue to face acute risk, both legal and reputational, particularly in cases where collected objects come from countries that suffer from, or that have recently experienced, widespread or highly publicized heritage site looting (e.g., Afghanistan, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Mali, Syria).

    Typically what causes a museum to unknowingly acquire illicit artifacts is a lack of due diligence. Due diligence is the term used to describe the background investigation that cultural institutions should employ to discover an artifact’s origin and its collecting history, particularly the details of its excavation, ownership, possession, transportation, conservation, sale, and so forth. This inquiry may be referred to as a provenance check. It is a pre-acquisition investigation meant to uncover whether an object is authentic or fake, whether its export and import were compliant with applicable laws, and whether its title can transfer legally to the museum. Flawed due diligence may result in a museum acquiring an antiquity or other object that later could be removed by police, lawyers, or a court order.

    To prevent losses to their collections—and the bad publicity that ultimately follows—museums first should understand their fiduciary duty of care, which is the legal obligation imposed on trustees of nonprofit cultural institutions to exercise reasonable care when managing assets. This duty requires artifact accessions to be done lawfully and in good faith. The duty of care is embraced, in some measure, by museum codes of ethics like those published by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), and the International Council of Museums (ICOM), which outline specific due diligence standards.

    The variety of standards, however, are neither uniform nor sufficiently rigorous in many cases. For example, ICOM’s Code of Ethics and AAMD’s Guideline on the Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art disagree with each other about whether due diligence should include a review of customs compliance in a country through which an artifact passed. An examination assessing whether customs rules in a transshipment country were followed is important because smuggled artifacts typically pass through intermediary countries so that smugglers can surreptitiously mask the export and import trails of loot. So while ICOM’s due diligence rule properly asks museums to “establish the full history of the item from discovery or production,” AAMD’s diminished rule limits a museum’s background check to “compliance with the export laws of the country of immediate past export to the U.S,” ignoring compliance with the laws of every country of export and import.

    There is little agreement too about the standard of review that should be applied. For example, one major museum’s collections policy declares that there must be “clear and convincing evidence” to prove that an object, already in the museum’s collection, had been stolen, looted, or smuggled before the object will be removed (deaccessioned) from the collection. Yet this same scrupulous standard is watered-down when the museum exercises due diligence before it adds new archaeological objects to its collection.

    The best due diligence, of course, is rigorous due diligence. It is the kind of diligence that directs museum personnel to ask pointed and comprehensive questions and to insist on sufficient and credible documentation from dealers, auction houses, and donors. It is the kind of diligence that demands answers about whether an artifact has been stolen, illegally exported, or smuggled before an object is acquired, and even afterwards. Rigorous due diligence easily satisfies the duty of care and best prevents the loss of objects from a museum’s collection.

    As a practical matter, we should ask what rigorous due diligence is actually due? One answer comes from a recommendation presented by collectors in 2009 to the Ancientartifacts Yahoo! group. Titled A Code of Ethics for Collectors of Ancient Artifacts, it offers the following quoted suggestions:

    ·       “Ask the vendor for all relevant paperwork relating to provenance, export etc.”

    That means asking for the bills of lading, invoices, customs entry forms, export permits, and all other paperwork that track the object’s movements.

    ·       “Take extra care if collecting particular classes of objects which have been subjected to wide-scale recent looting.”

    For example, avoid acquiring artifacts that are listed on one of ICOM’s publications known as Red Lists, which identify at-risk cultural heritage originating from countries that suffer severely from cultural heritage looting and plunder. 

    ·       “Verify a vendor’s reputation independently before buying. Assure yourself that they are using due diligence in their trading practices, and do not support those who knowingly sell fakes as authentic or offer items of questionable provenance.”

    Learn more about the dealers, auction houses, and donors offering artifacts by getting client references, scanning publicly available court records for criminal or civil claims against them, and reviewing corporate records (available on many secretary of state offices’ web sites) to verify legitimacy. 

    ·       “Do not dismember any item, or acquire a fragment which you believe to have been separated from a larger object except through natural means.”

    For instance, beware of acquiring a single object that would have been paired with another object. You would be suspicious if a salt shaker were sold without its companion pepper shaker, so be suspicious if a single statue that is commonly found a part of a pair is offered for sale.

    ·       “Consider the implications of buying an item from an associated assemblage and the impact this could have on study.”

    Be cautious when considering the purchase of one portion of an entire temple wall or a single cut-out from a complete ancient papyrus roll, for example. 

    ·       “Liaise, where possible, with the academic and broader communities about your artifacts.”

    Have open conversations about the object and its collecting history in order to learn more perhaps about its provenance from experts.

    ·       An item not suggested by the ethics code, but which is absolutely important, is conducting a visual inspection of the object. Use a black light to spot unusual marks or cover-ups like nail polish, which can be used to remove an identifying registration number from an inventoried museum object. Examine edges to see if they are straight and smooth to help determine whether an object has been cut recently from its original archaeological source as when looters use diamond-tipped steel circular saws to cut decorative slabs from ancient tomb walls.

    Effective loss prevention involves the application of this kind of rigorous due diligence. It helps cultural institutions acquire valid legal title to licit cultural objects and protects museum collections from legal seizures, all while instilling public confidence in museum collecting practices that aim to preserve humanity’s precious cultural heritage.

    Ricard A. St. Hilaire, Esq, CIPM


  • November 15, 2016 4:19 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)
    By Joan Baldwin [reprinted from the Northern States Conservation Center Collection Caretaker eNewsletter November 15, 2016]

    Not everyone comes to the museum field eager for leadership. Sometimes we're moved forward. Sometimes we realize we're ready for it and we move ourselves forward, but all too often leadership is an unintentional consequence. Like when you become the education director and find out that you're supervising a staff of 50 volunteers, but only until the organization hires a volunteer coordinator. In the next fiscal year. Suddenly you're a boss of a lot of people some of whom are old enough to be your parents or your grandparents.

    On the other hand, if you aspire to museum leadership, but aren't there yet, you may have heard or read the phrase, "you can lead from anywhere in the room." We used it more than a few times in Leadership Matters. And we believe it, but to the uninitiated, it may be hard to figure out how to look like a leader when you're in row three at an all-staff meeting, and potentially the youngest or newest person in the organization. So here--in no particular order--are some strategies for figuring out leadership before you get the job.

    1. Learn how to say you're sorry. All leaders make mistakes. And if you can't humble yourself in front of your team, there won't be much trust there. The next time you mess up, get out in front of the error quickly. Apologize to your boss and your colleagues and offer strategies, either personal or organizational, for moving forward.
    2. Separate the parts of your job over which you have authority from those where you're the one responsible. In many museums there are the worker bees who take on more and more work. Why? Because they're great time managers, they have a sense of duty, and their bosses know a good thing when they see it. But multiple responsibilities don't add up to authority. They add up to a huge to-do list over which you have little control in the end. The result? You are angry or sad or possibly both. Make a list. Separate your job into areas over which you have real authority, and the areas where you're responsible. Be strategic. At your next job review, advocate for increased authority.
    3. Enthusiasm isn't everything. Be strategic when talking about your work. Let your director (or direct report) know why you like something. Hearing general enthusiasm for working with collections isn't the same as hearing your enthusiasm about finally moving the Excel files to the new open-access collections management program.
    4. Don't hang out with the office gossip. Every office has one and museum workplaces are offices. That person has defined power as knowing as much as she or he can about everyone. Back-stabbing and talking behind people's back is not the path to leadership.
    5. Embrace change. Every office also has the person who can't cope with change. They mournfully explain why new ideas won't work, describing in painful detail how some variation of what's just been proposed didn't work 15 years ago. Or was it seven years ago? Don't be that person. In fact, be the person who gently shuts them down and suggests experimenting.
    6. Support your colleagues. They don't have to be your friends, and you never have to see them three sheets to the wind at the office holiday event, but you need one another to make stuff happen. That's why you come to work. To make stuff happen. So don't judge. Just assume everybody's trying their best.
    7. Advocate for your program, project, exhibit or idea. If you don't care about what you're doing enough to talk about it, why should anyone else?

    And let us know how you lead when you're not the person with the title.

    Reprinted with permission from Leadership Matters Posted: October 31, 2016 

    Thoughts on 21st Century museum leadership by Anne Ackerson and Joan Baldwin

    For more information on Leadership please check out other articles from this Blog.

  • October 19, 2016 6:20 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    By Peggy Schaller [reprinted from the Northern States Conservation Center Collections Caretaker eNewsletter - October 15, 2016]

    Why are periodic inventories important?

    There are two main reasons for doing periodic inventories. No, it is not just to make you do more work! Inventories are an important function of museum collections management. The main reason is to keep track of your collections. You cannot display or otherwise utilize what you cannot find. If you cannot find it, you have not lived up to your public trust responsibilities regarding your collection and the object might just as well be gone. And how do you know it is not gone? Maybe there has been a theft of which you are not aware?

    Secondly, periodic inventories allow you to monitor the condition of the objects. Doing an inventory forces you to look at each individual artifact as you are verifying that it is where it is supposed to be. This is the perfect opportunity to make an examination of the current condition of your objects. If that small crack you noticed last time has gotten bigger, maybe the environmental controls need to be checked. If there is evidence of insects where there was none before, maybe you have an infestation that needs to be dealt with. Many small or large changes can be caught by regular examination of your collection.

    Who will do the Inventory?

    Only those persons authorized to be in the collection areas should be in charge of doing a Collection Inventory. All helpers during this process must be trusted Collection Staff, another staff member or background checked volunteers. All volunteers must be paired with a staff member and should never be allowed to work in the collection unaccompanied.

    Collection Inventories, at their most efficient, are done with teams of two--one person to handle and describe, the other to record the information on the Inventory sheet. One member of this team should be a collection staff member, the other may be a volunteer or other staff member.

    Before beginning an inventory, each person involved should go through a short training session on proper handling of collections and how to describe artifacts. Remember, the descriptions required during an inventory are NOT cataloging descriptions, but short, concise descriptions that will allow you to tell one artifact from others of a similar nature.

    So how do you go about doing an inventory?

    To avoid having your inventory turn into an exercise in frustration, you must have a systematic plan. Do not hop from one shelf to another, or one room to another, you will tend to forget where you have been and will surely miss something. Do one room or section of the museum at a time. Choose a starting point within that room or section and proceed in a logical manner one shelf or case at a time. Always finish each section/shelf/cabinet/drawer before moving on to the next.

    To learn more join Peggy Schaller in MS218: Collections Inventories starting November 7, 2016.

    Peggy Schaller, founded Collections Research for Museums in 1991 to provide cataloging, collection-management training and services. She has worked with a large variety of museums and collections for more than 20 years. Peggy, who lives in Denver, Colorado, has a bachelor's degree in anthropology with minors in art history and geology from the University of Arizona in Tucson. She has a master's degree in anthropology with a minor in museum studies from the University of Colorado in Boulder and is a Certified Institutional Protection Manager II. For more information visit her web site  Collections Research for Museums. Peggy is also the Publications Manager, Certificate Program Coordinator, and Course Monitor for Northern States Conservation Center and

  • October 12, 2016 3:12 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    If you think you loved the David Hockney exhibition held at the de Young Museum in late 2013, consider its effect on the local co-curator of the show, Richard Benefield. Benefield has served in several key roles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young umbrella institution) in his four years there, including two stints as acting director. Now, it has been announced he will begin a new job in January — as executive director of the David Hockney Foundation. “I’m over the moon,” he said by phone.

    Benefield was the first director of San Francisco’s Walt Disney Family Museum, a position he held from 2008 to 2011. Earlier, he held administrative positions at the art museums of Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Harvard University. He and his husband, John Kunowski, will move to Los Angeles, where the foundation is headquartered and where Hockney lives.

    In 2014 the David Hockney Foundation reported assets — primarily works of art — valued at more than $136 million. The purpose of the foundation, Benefield said, is “to further educate the public on arts and culture.” It does this primarily through support of Hockney projects — he has four major exhibitions scheduled in the coming year, as he turns 80. A new book, “A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer,” written with British art critic Martin Gayford, is launching Oct. 6.

    The Independent newspaper reported that in 2012 Hockney was “the most generous philanthropist” in Britain. As it has been in the past, San Francisco will likely again be a beneficiary of that largess: on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the aquisitions committee of the FAMSF voted to recommend that the full board accept a gift from the foundation of two multi-screen video works, “Seven Yorkshire Landscapes, 2011” (which has been on view in the de Young lobby since the show in 2013) and “The Four Seasons, Woldgate Woods (Spring 2011, Summer 2010, Autumn 2010, Winter 2010).”

    Charles Desmarais is The San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic. Email: Twitter: @Artguy1


  • October 04, 2016 4:25 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    Top U.S. Government Security Chiefs Join Thousands of
    Physical and Cybersecurity Professionals in Orlando

    Alexandria, VA (Sept. 22)–Security professionals from 109 countries gathered in Orlando, September 12-15 for the ASIS International 62nd Annual Seminar and Exhibits (ASIS 2016), the profession's most comprehensive education program and security marketplace. The event, which was co-located with the (ISC)2 Security Congress and InfraGard 20th Anniversary Congress & Conference, attracted more than 22,000 registrants, representing 10% growth from the previous year. Keynotes by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson and FBI Director James B. Comey underscored key conference themes, specifically the rise of lone wolf attacks, the risk of a cyberattack on critical infrastructure, and the need for greater public-private sector collaboration.

    "In addition to my volunteer leadership role, first and foremost I am a security management professional," said David C. Davis, CPP, 2016 president, ASIS International. "From the trade show floor to the formal education program, the depth of learning offered at this year's event was astonishing. As a result, attendees and exhibitors were able to hold meaningful conversations about the current threat landscape, the new tools and solutions available, and how to best support each other's goals."

    The four-day program, which also featured keynotes by Ted Koppel and Elliott Abrams, included more than 250 education sessions, the first U.S. Outstanding Security Performance Awards, and inspiring remarks by Everest survivor Dr. Beck Weathers. In addition, ASIS 2016 showcased 550 exhibitors, providing attendees with hands-on access to security technology addressing the full spectrum of threats including drone detection, body worn cameras, autonomous security robots, cyber intrusion detection software, 4K cameras, data analytic tools, and more. 80% of ASIS 2016 exhibitors have already rebooked for ASIS 2017, convening Sept. 25-28 in Dallas.

    New this year, InfraGard co-located its annual Congress and Conference with ASIS 2016 and will continue the partnership in Dallas in 2017. Both Secretary Johnson and Director Comey identified the need for greater private-public sector collaboration, which this relationship exemplifies.

    "With increased terror threats both domestically and globally, collaboration with the public, government, and private sector is critical to the security of our citizens, as well as vital infrastructure," said Gary Gardner, chairman, InfraGard Board of Directors. "Partnering with ASIS ensures our collective memberships have access to the intelligence and current threat assessments needed to protect and provide resilience for the communities in which we serve."

    In conjunction with the event, ASIS held a free Community Preparedness and Prevention Seminar as part of its inaugural Security Week. Supported by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection, the program educated Orlando community leaders and small business owners on the fundamentals of security, soft-target protection, and crisis preparedness. In addition, ASIS provided free access to the conference and expo for all active duty military, law enforcement, and first responders as part of Law Enforcement and Military Appreciation Day. ASIS rounded out its community outreach with the ASIS Foundation School Security Funding Competition, providing Lake Brantley High School with a $22,000 donation for security upgrades and $19,000 of in-kind security equipment and improvements.

    "As the global organization representing more than 35,000 security professionals worldwide, ASIS is distinctly positioned to deliver a dynamic security event that is truly by the industry, for the industry," said ASIS International CEO Peter J. O'Neil, who took the helm of the association earlier this year. "I was inspired and energized by the passionate community of security professionals who convened in Orlando last week. While our annual conference delivers unparalleled value in information sharing, networking, and exposure to cutting edge technology, our constituents can rest assured that we are committed to evolving and modernizing the event's content, format, and events to meet the rapidly changing needs of today's security professionals. We look forward to building on this year's success in Dallas next September."


  • October 04, 2016 4:18 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    After 18 months of rigorous testing in a host of prestigious museums and the homes of high-end collectors, Art Guard’s MAP has proven its unique ability to prevent the theft of art and other valuables where other security methods fail and is now available to the public at large.    

    NEW YORK – September 19, 2016 – Today Art Guard announced the formal release of its MAP, or Magnetic Asset Protection, sensor in the U.S., Canada and Mexico after carefully supervised installations in public institutions and high-end private homes across the country. MAP is a patented wireless technology that provides object-specific theft protection by assigning a unique digital ID to art and other valuable stationary assets. The MAP technology is distinct in its ability to secure even the smallest objects. Art Guard, a Brooklyn based company, also introduced MAP Wi-Fi, a plug-and-play system providing total asset security with the convenience of home automation.

    “Art theft is a growing problem in the US and worldwide,” said Art Guard co-founder Bill Anderson. “As art proliferates and its value continues to climb, the consequences of theft have never been greater. Most museums, homes and other facilities that display art and valuable assets are totally unprepared to deal with the problem – relying solely on perimeter intrusion security. These systems have to be disarmed to allow for daily activity, often leaving assets completely vulnerable. With the MAP system, Art Guard is delivering museum-grade protection, 24/7, at an affordable price to any facility displaying or keeping art or valuable assets.”

    MAP can easily be installed in any location, providing object-specific protection for stationary assets, including art, antiques, jewelry, historical and religious artifacts, collectibles and memorabilia.  In the last 12 months, Art Guard’s MAP has been installed in many of this country’s most prestigious museums, galleries and homes of well-known collectors.

    Of particular note is the MAP installation in a museum that suffered one of the greatest thefts in history. The museum was able to open a room closed to the public for 40 years as a result of protection afforded to its historic and irreplaceable objects, meeting both stringent security and conservation criteria.  

    The MAP system works when a tiny magnet is safely and discreetly attached to an object and the object is then placed in close proximity to the wireless MAP sensor, which is also hidden from view. Once the sensor recognizes the magnet and is enrolled in a control panel, any movement of either the object or sensor triggers an alert and a customized response, including communication to any mobile device. Providing security for individual objects has never been as critical or as easy.

    Flexibility is a major factor in selecting security systems, as is interoperability with existing home automation. MAP can act as a standalone system or seamlessly integrate with existing security systems from DSC, Honeywell, Interlogix, 2GIG, Qolsys and Elk, as well as Tyco access controls in larger facilities. With the introduction of Art Guard’s plug-and-play MAP Wi-Fi system, MAP sensors can also easily be paired with the popular Helix Wi-Fi panel for home and small facility asset protection.

    Art Guard works closely with qualified security installers and integrators on the seamless installation of MAP, bolstering conventional security systems. Whether working with installers or supporting MAP’s DIY Wi-Fi system, Art Guard also applies its expertise in the art space to partner closely with qualified art handlers to ensure proper application of sensors and magnets.

    Building on the momentum of MAP, Art Guard is tapping into additional opportunities in the home automation market. Art Guard is currently developing a Z-wave protocol version of MAP that will seamlessly integrate with almost any IoT system, for both consumer and institutional use. Incorporating its technology into RF, Wi-Fi and Z-wave products will allow Art Guard to address the broadest needs in art and asset security, both in the U.S. and abroad.

    “Art Guard’s MAP has given both security and the conservators a real sense of comfort that no other product has been able to provide” said the Chief of Security of a major NYC museum. “Small and discreet, MAP sensors placed behind a painting or under an object can detect any unauthorized movement and deliver an immediate response. Providing this type of object-based security is the future for museums and private collectors looking for a heightened level of protection."

    For more information, visit

  • September 06, 2016 9:31 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    IFCPP 17th Annual Leadership Symposium
    Aspen, CO. August 28, 2016 thru August 31, 2016

    As reported by:
    Sheldon Smith, Security Manager
    Detroit Institute Of Arts

    IFCPP began this year's Leadership Symposium last weekend, hosted by The Gant hotel, the Aspen Art Museum, and the Aspen Historical Society.  This year's big event featured 3 days of leadership courses and other timely cultural property protection sessions.  Offerings included classroom workshops, MOAB certification, networking activities, group meals, cultural tours, and select exhibits.

    The Symposium began with a stunning welcome reception at 6:30 pm on Sunday, August 28, 2016.  The activities began with several participants from all over the United States arriving to participate in the Symposium, and enjoy the city of Aspen. Sunday’s welcome included entertainment from the Aspen Historical Society, delivering a lively performance during dinner.

    Monday August 29, 2016, about 50 participants began arriving early networking during Registration, and a hot breakfast in the Gant Conference Center Conundrum room. Exhibiters were set up to display the wares from new technology, including MOBOTIX and Broadband Discovery Systems, providing innovations in physical security (entry screenings). As Leadership Workshops began promptly at 9:00am with Steve Woolley sharing and instructing in management styles a 7-day course given over a two-day, 6-hour condensed course. The erudition and emotion of session was applauding. Literature that was given out reflecting Steven M. R.Covey principles, will surely have significant impact on lives and behaviors.

    During lunch MOBOTIX shared an exciting presentation on the advancement of security video technology in areas of Art protection.  A practical exercise was conducted as participants were transported to the Aspen Art Museum to conduct a security assessment of the museum. This exercise turned out to be a very productive experience with several United States Museum Security Professionals, from varying security professions, assessing the Museum. IFCPP Symposium participants made a positive impact again.

    At 7:00 p.m Monday night, a group networking dinner was provided by the Red Onion restaurant. This is an Aspen landmark that holds the lofty distinction of being one of the oldest restaurant saloons in the area, dating back to the silver boom of the 19th century. Also, the Red Onion is one of the most picturesque of the various colorful Victorian establishments in Aspen. Participants shared that this special meal was delectable, closing another day with a smile on everyone’s faces.

    Tuesday August 30, 2016 began another wonderful day with a great hot breakfast. Excellent coffee was provided, as everyone involved in the security profession seems to love his or her coffee! As Leadership Workshops continued, Steve Woolley led participants through a series of classroom exercises into the noon hour. Participants were left with “one for the books” from the best practices knowledge that was shared. Tuesday’s lunch granted Symposium participants with the privilege of 2015 conference follow-up presentations from Geoff Goodrich of Crystal Bridges and Steve Ramsey of The Philbrook Museum of Art.  The sincerity of the shared information, and the humor of joy that came from the presentations, well informed participants of progress made since the IFCPP 2015 Symposium.

    At 1:00 we were back inside The Gant’s Maroon room where additional classroom sessions would close out the conference over the next few days. As Steve Layne began to summarize implementation of procedures for conducting assessments, participants from the previous day’s activities were organized into groups. Each group was assigned an area to evaluate during the previous day’s Aspen Art Museum visit.  Three groups of Symposium delegates were responsible for Perimeter, Facilities, Electronic Systems; Collections, Exhibits, Staffing, Training, Policies & Procedures; and Emergency Preparedness and Fire Protection. Each group began their presentation by sharing findings from the Aspen Art Museum assessment during an Exercise Hot Wash.

    At 2:00p.m. Steve Layne presented essential facts with regard to Entry Screening, including updates in technology for entry and access in varying cultural establishments. Layne’s program topics included,  “Why inspect”, “Statistical deterrents”, “What Homeland Security and other agencies consider”, “What are we looking for?”,  “Screening policies”, “Today’s current screening methods”, “Casual inspections”, “Hands on package inspections”, “Hand wand personal inspections”,
    “Intelligent threat detection” (as current vendors on site provided examples”. Steve also touched on Walk-thru X-Ray and Belt-fed X-Ray; and explained Special Events should utilize a documented matrix that includes details of each unique event. Advance planning is a must.  Steve’s presentation detailed considerations for Staff, Contractor, and Visitor Screening.  Steve covered entry screening considerations from A to Z, leaving everyone with a very on-point understanding of why, how, and when to make screening decisions.

    From 3:00p.m to 4:00p.m. participants were introduced to a Smithsonian Institution presentation on Strategic Staffing Analysis by Doug Hall, Deputy Director, Office of Protective Services.  Noteworthy items were provided, from staffing to new building research, to moving forward with security research.

    From 4:00p.m to 4:30p.m Symposium participants were provided with an IFCPP 2017 Conference team briefing by Richard Boardman, who explained in detail what is in store for next year’s big event at Yale University, September 17-20.

    The day closed with another group networking dinner at the Hickory House of Ribs where participants were delighted with smoky, glistening, and falling - off - the - bone - tender ribs, catfish, briquette, BBQ chicken, and excellent side dishes. Everyone retired for the evening smiling happy again, as if having attended a family picnic indoors.

    Wednesday August 31, 2016 was a very important day to all participants that had the opportunity to be trained and certified in MOAB (Management of Aggressive Behavior) principles. Steve Layne, IFCPP President, instructed the half-day course. This in-depth training program teaches individuals how to recognize, reduce, and manage, violent and aggressive behavior. Steve presented, and provided examples of true-to-life situations dealing violence in society, and provided strategies for preventing and diffusing aggressive behavior.  “Prepare, Listen, Communicate”!  Testing & certification wrapped up the program, and the 2 ½ day classroom portion of the Symposium. As a participant myself, I felt that this was one of the most intense and important certifications that is available to all of us involved in safety & security.  I would suggest that anyone working in security make sure to get involved with MOAB and begin the certification process. The program was enlightening as well as informative.

    Those IFCPP participants that were not participating in the training and certification of MOAB, were privileged to a tour of the Holden/ Marolt Mining & Ranch Museum.  Later in the day, the Aspen Historical Society provided a tour of the Wheeler/ Stallard Museum (historic house). Jerome B. Wheeler built this Queen Anne style home in 1888. Despite his plans, his wife Harriet Macy Valentine Wheeler refused to leave their mansion in Manitou Springs, Colorado and the family never lived here. Edgar and Mary Ella Stallard moved into the house in 1905, eventually purchasing it in 1917. The family lived here for forty years. The house last served as the residence of the Aspen Institute’s president before the Aspen Historical Society purchased it in 1969.  IFCPP Symposium participants enjoyed the collection, with its vast tales of the history of Aspen, in film, and in the collection of art and artifacts displayed. What an enjoyable tour!

    As the IFCPP conference came to a close for 2016, Symposium delegates enjoyed one last evening together at the Historic Hotel Jerome’s J Bar, where we greeted each other, said our happy goodbyes, and our joyful “see you next years”. A well executed conference and a success in advancement!

    Thank You IFCPP

    Sheldon Smith

  • September 06, 2016 6:00 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    By Jes Stewart

    [reprinted from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council August 2016 Newsletter] 

    I was honored to be invited to speak at the Smithsonian’s annual National Conference on Cultural property protection. This year’s conference was held in Washington at the Museum of Natural History and the Newseum. Both fantastic venues to be sure. There were attendees from wonderful museums from all over the United States, England, Holland and many other countries.

    I was fortunate enough to give a panel presentation with three other outstanding managers in the security field. These were Russell Collett who works with our own Tom Henkey at the Art Institute of Chicago, Jason Heberlein who is the Director of Security for the Broad in L.A. and Jeff Strong, the Directing Supervisor of Security at the BYU Museum. Each of us gave the conference participants a look at our security departments and how we successfully implemented a strong customer service aspect to our security programs. We talked about our successes and how we overcame obstacles to ensure that we had formed the best customer service oriented security departments possible.

    The presentation was very well received. I am still, at this time, receiving numerous emails and phone calls from museums in Colorado to London, England asking for direction on how to help make their security department more customer service focused.

    My hat is off to Doug Hall, Jeanne O’Toole and the rest of the Smithsonian group who put on such a magnificent conference. I learned a lot from other presentations, like one from our past council chair, Gary Miville, and made numerous new connections in the security world. Plus, how can you beat having the reception at the Library of Congress? I look forward to being back next year.

  • September 06, 2016 5:54 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    by Robert A. Carotenuto, CPP, PCI, PSP

    [reprinted from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council August 2016 Newsletter]

    Cultural Property Council members have had a busy spring!  During our monthly council calls, our council has been discussing how to meet the current active shooter and terrorist assaults that have taken so many lives and threaten the institutions that we safeguard.  Cultural properties are soft targets with limited resources.  We are some of the most visited tourist sites in the world.  My own institution, the New York Botanical Garden, saw visitation surpass one million this past fiscal year, and my former employer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, had a record attendance of over 6.7 million visitors.  Many of my colleagues on the council speak of similar surges in attendance, and so we are developing strategies to continue to protect all our new visitors, often with static, or even diminishing, resources.  Our council has undertaken the following initiatives to discuss pressing issues in our industry:

    Speaking Engagements:

    Several council members participated in the Smithsonian National Conference on Cultural Property Protection, held June 1-3 at the Smithsonian in D.C., and spearheaded by council member Douglas Hall, who moderated a session on visitor\public screening.  Gary Miville moderated a session on cultural property resources and James “Jes” Stewart was a panelist on a session entitled, “Museum Customer Service: creating a Wow Experience.” Stevan Layne led a workshop entitled, “Developing and Implementing Your Own Collections Emergency Plan.”

    Several council members spoke at the American Alliance for Museums conference held in D.C. over the Memorial Day weekend.  Stevan Layne, Mark Peterson and I spoke about how “Priceless Collections Require Specialized Security.” Mike Kirchner, Bill Powers, Chris Provan, and Mark Peterson discussed cultural property construction security concerns in their presentation entitled, “Construction 2.0: Lessons Learned in Large and Small Museums.”  Doug Hall discussed the museum security staffing survey and report performed by the Smithsonian in his session entitled, Smithsonian Strategic Staffing Analysis.”  These well-attended sessions helped to promote the work of our council and ASIS International.

    Our council is proud to have two sessions at this year’s ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Orlando.  Andy Davis will be addressing how to combat terrorist threats on Monday, September 12th in his session entitled Protect Cultural and Hospitality Venues from Terrorist Attacks.  Andy Davis, Stevan Layne, James McGuffey, Ronald Ronacher, and I will be addressing soft target security on Tuesday, September 13th during our presentation entitled, “Strategies for Hardening Soft Targets.”  I am proud to be representing the council at the ASIS International Global Conference in Shanghai, where I will be speaking on Monday, November 14th about emergency planning in my session entitled, “Expecting the Unexpected: Creating a practical Emergency Management Plan.”


    Given space limitations, I will briefly list the documents we have in various stages of publication:

    • 1)    Houses of Worship Security Risk Analysis; approved by ASIS International and to be available August, 2016 through our council’s ASIS website.
    • 2)    Council Brochure, completed and translated into Dutch and Arabic. Working on French and Spanish translations.  We see this as an essential step in recruiting international members.
    • 3)    Fire Suppression White Paper, awaiting ASIS International review.
    • 4)    Children’s Safety in Museums (working title), council peer-review; plans to collaborate with School Safety Council
    • 5)    CRISP Report on Clunia archaeological site in Spain; in draft.
    • 6)    Armed Guard Survey and Visitor Screening Survey; several members collaborating with the Smithsonian and the IFCPP; future White Papers.

    Our council seeks to collaborate with other councils on issues of mutual importance, so please reach out to us!


    Kudos to Ibrahim Bulut, James Clark, Andy Davis, and Ricardo Sanz Marcos for all their efforts on championing our council and ASIS International.  Jim and Ricardo will be launching a risk analysis of the Clunia archaeological site in Spain later this year and this will be our first efforts in working with the ASIS International foundation, writing a CRISP Report, and expanding on the groundbreaking work by Dr. Arthur Kingsbury on archaeological site security.  Ibrahim’s articles below highlight his interactions with ICOM and ARCA, two of the international leaders in researching threats to museums and their collections.  Andy is leading the inaugural International Arts and Antiquities Forum (IAAS) at the Baltic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, November 11, 2016.  He, Ricardo Sanz Marcos and Jim McGuffey will be representing our council and speaking on operational best practices, building multilayered defenses, current threats and countermeasures for houses of worship, and operational best practices for security operations (physical and technical).

    A special thanks to Andy and Ibrahim for translating our brochure into Arabic and Dutch, respectively.  Ibrahim was also instrumental in recruiting new council member, Kaatje Claes, from G4S in Belgium.  Lastly, Andy, Ibrahim, Ricardo and I are currently working on session submittals for the ASIS International Global Conference in Milan, March, 2107.

    New Members

    Joining our active team are Daniel Munoz, Hammer Museum; Clint Wynne, Security Concepts, Inc.; Jaime Juarez, Cleveland Museum; and Kaatje Claes, G4S, Belgium.

  • September 06, 2016 5:50 PM | Rob Layne (Administrator)

    By Daniel Munoz

    [reprinted from the ASIS Cultural Properties Council August 2016 Newsletter]

    The Hammer Museum opened to the public in November 1990. Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer, former Chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, the Museum was built adjacent to the Corporation’s international headquarters in Westwood. The Museum features galleries from Dr. Hammer’s collections — old master paintings and drawings, and a collection of works on paper by Honore Daumier and his contemporaries — as well as galleries for traveling exhibitions, mostly contemporary art.  Dr. Hammer passed away in December 1990, three weeks after the opening of the Museum.

    In 1992, the Museum began negotiating with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to assume management and operations and in April 1994, the partnership with UCLA was finalized. Today, the Museum is one of three public arts units of the School Arts and Architecture at UCLA. It is located on the South side of the University campus, on the corner of the Wilshire and Westwood Blvd.

    In 2014 the Museum decided to waive its admission fee, and reiterated its commitment to its mission statement – “The Hammer Museum at UCLA believes in the promise of art and ideas to illuminate our lives and build a more just world”. Today, all Hammer exhibitions and programs (over 300 public programs a year) are free to the public.

    I joined the Hammer on January 2012. Before that I worked at AEG and had the opportunity to work at the Staples Center, LA LIVE and Grammy Museum in a number of security roles. At the GRAMMY Museum I was hired to create its Security department before it opened to the public in December 2008. Prior to my tenure at AEG I worked as a Security Professional in a five star Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for 11 years.

    My time here at the Hammer has been filled with excitement. The Hammer is always busy. On any given day, the Museum is full of visitors enjoying our galleries, attending an evening program, relaxing in our courtyard, or having a meal at our Café. Even with our upcoming gallery renovation project, which will last approximately 3 ½ months, the Museum will have some art on display in addition to numerous programs available for visitors, from film screenings to performance art. 

    The Hammer has a proprietary security department. Security operates 24/7 and is responsible for the operations of its Security Operations Center (SOC). In addition, they are the first responders for all types of emergencies, and patrol the property throughout the day and night. The gallery staff is composed primarily of UCLA students and they report to the Visitor Experience department. Before 2014, the gallery staff, still composed primarily of UCLA students, reported to Security. Many lessons were learned during this transition and now the two departments work seamlessly well together to protect both visitors and the art. The Museum also uses a contract security company to help cover non-security essential posts during high impact events. Because we are a University Museum we work closely with UCPD and benefit from their proximity.

    Currently, we are working on the final phase of our Security Operations Center renovation project, continually evolving our emergency preparedness policies, and preparing for this summer’s rolling blackouts. Our upcoming galleries renovation project is slated to start this fall and that will bring new challenges. In addition, and with the help of other local Museum Security Directors, I’m working on reinstating our Museum’s Security Director’s Round Table meetings. I strongly believe in and encourage sharing information to help others, and have benefitted from learning about other museum’s systems, procedures and security structures, and of which I have incorporated into our operations at the Hammer. 


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