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  • January 02, 2018 12:39 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBC News

    An artist who worked with the late Nisga'a carver Norman Tait is working to expose fraudulent versions of Indigenous North Coast art after discovering unsanctioned copies of Tait's work being passed off as originals.

    "I was quite incensed," said Lucinda Turner, who started as Tait's apprentice and later became his carving partner, helping create multiple works that sell for thousands of dollars. 

    Turner started researching the issue and soon discovered about 20 North Coast artists whose work she says is being copied and sold at lower prices.

    In some cases she's found the work is being mass-produced overseas and sold by people posing as the original artists.

    "They're really all over the place," Turner said, adding she worries the false pieces are lowering the value of work genuinely connected to North Coast cultures.

    "It's making it really difficult for young artists to come out."

    After connecting with other artists, Turner started a Facebook group where people are invited to post pictures of possibly fraudulent pieces alongside pictures of original works so she and others can reach out and investigate.

    Aside from hurting artists' livelihoods, Turner said she's worried about the culture contained within North Coast art being lost.

    "The culture and the stories behind it are not being transferred," she said.

    "The art itself is going to be diminished."

    Turner has spoken to lawyers but has yet to take any legal action, and cautions members not to make public accusations until the possible fraud can be assessed.

    She is also exploring the idea of creating an authentication system for North Coast artists, in conjunction with the Authentic Indigenous website.

    In the meantime, she encourages people interested in purchasing North Coast art to do their homework to make sure it is authentic.

    "Ask questions, look at biographies," she advised. 

    "Become an educated consumer."

    See Original Post

  • January 02, 2018 12:35 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Nigerian Tribune

    Antiquities are valuable all over the world, and as such, they give room for criminals to aim at stealing and trafficking in them.

    A good example of this is the theft and sale of stolen artifacts from Syria and Iraq, which reportedly provided large sums of money towards the financing of terrorism.

    In Nigeria, and on the African continent, stealing artifacts is also common, as such are sold to international buyers who then traffick them out of the continent.

    In the past, we have heard about stolen African artifacts in European museums, and the efforts being taken to have them returned.

    While determining the origin of stolen artifacts on the international market is extremely difficult, several non-governmental organisations have now been working towards having a database of artifacts from different parts of the world, thereby making it difficult for such valuable items to be stolen and sold.

    One international technology organisation is already providing cutting edge liquid forensic ‘nanotechnology’ with encrypted data, which is being used by law enforcement agencies worldwide and has profound implications for the protection of the world’s cultural heritage that is currently under threat.

    This organisation is focused on assisting law enforcement agencies secure convictions in court.

    One good thing is that this technology is being used for more than just home break-ins, and for the first time, this organisation is creating a viable and profound solution to protect against illicit antiquities looting and trafficking.

    When applied to archaeological sites, artifacts, and other heritage property, any object moved from its resting place and found elsewhere can be linked back to its place of origin, just by shining the green light and reading the code.

    Though this is new to antiquities trafficking, it comes at a critical time for the cultural heritage of several countries of the world where antiquity theft are common.

    It provides hope for the protection of antiquities from future trade on the illicit market and not end up in global art markets where the high demand for artifacts means they may never be seen again.

    While the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), which supervises museums in the country, may yet to subscribe for this technology, it is necessary that in order to secure our heritage from theft, such technologies used in tracking stolen antiquities must be embraced.

    See Original Post

  • January 02, 2018 12:32 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Mexico Daily News

    Authorities in the Morelos capital of Cuernavaca have turned to Interpol for help in solving the theft of nine bronze sculptures and busts.

    Thefts of the statues began in June and even occurred right under the noses of municipal authorities.

    Four bronze statues were stolen that month from a municipal warehouse, along with three trucks and a road roller.

    The pieces were all by contemporary sculptor Miguel Michel and depicted three soldiers that fought alongside Mexican Revolution General Emiliano Zapata and an adelita, or soldadera, as women who took up arms and joined the revolution are known.

    In October, a group of statues dedicated to children’s music composer Francisco “Cri Cri” Gabilondo Soler were stolen and damaged in the process.

    The statues depicted the composer and three children and were located in a park to the side of the municipal market. Thieves cut off parts of them and carried them away.

    Last month, three bronze mushrooms, each measuring more than 1.5 meters in height, were stolen from inside municipal headquarters, a facility supposedly under constant surveillance by the municipal police.

    Also in November, a bronze bust of movie actress María Félix was also stolen from a Cuernavaca park. Félix was a long-time resident of the city and donated the sculpture herself.

    Municipal spokesman José de Jesús Guízar Nájera told the newspaper Milenio he fears that the stolen pieces are being melted down to sell off the bronze.

    Another line of investigation is that some pieces, including the three mushrooms and the bust of Félix, are being sold on the black market.

    “Each and every one of has an inestimable historic value . . . .” Guízar said.

    The director of the Culture Institute of Cuernavaca concurred, declaring that the stolen art has a social value that goes beyond the market price or the value of the material from which they were made.

    “Their artistic aspect becomes social value, because the people get to know them and to see themselves in them,” said Hugo Juárez.

    He lamented that the thieves ignored that. As a society “we’re disrespecting everything . . . this is an historic and cultural identity crisis.”

    See Original Post

  • January 02, 2018 12:07 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Miami Herald

    Disney is rolling out an upgraded security policy at several of its resorts, beginning with the three monorail hotels near the Magic Kingdom.

    On Friday, guests at the three properties – the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary resorts – no longer had “Do Not Disturb” signs for their doors. Instead, they have been replaced with “Room Occupied” signs that will alert cast members that guests are in their rooms.

    Along with the new term comes a policy that requires Disney cast members to enter each hotel room at least once a day to “ensure guest safety,” according to a report by Walt Disney World News Today.

    Before the policy, a “Do Not Disturb” sign would signal for employees to bypass the room. But now, Disney says that “the hotel and its staff reserve the right to enter your room for any purpose including, but not limited to, performing maintenance and repairs or checking on the safety and security of guests and property.”

    The company also said that guests will be given notice prior to entering the room by knocking and announcing that they are coming in, WDWNT reports.

    According to WDWNT, the new security measures are believed to be in response to the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this year. A gunman checked into the Manadalay Bay hotel with a cache of weapons and killed 58 people and injured hundreds more from his room. The monorail resorts, the outlets says, are tall and offer similar vantage points of crowded areas. Disney officials have not said why they are making the upgrades.

    The changes are expected to roll out to other Walt Disney World Resort Hotels in the coming weeks.

    See Original Post

  • January 02, 2018 11:57 AM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Daily Post

    Today, hidden from public view and situated underground, they are the secret bunkers of another age.

    But while they may largely be forgotten by the public, they have all played a vital role in the nation's history.

    For buried deep under the North Wales soil, far from the UK's major cities, they have protected the nation's treasures and its deadliest secrets.

    From the hiding of the Crown Jewels and Leonardo da Vinci masterpieces to storing the bouncing bomb and the development of nuclear weapons they formed a protective shield from prying eyes and devastating bombs.

    So we have taken a look inside these sites of huge historical interest to look back at some of the UK government’s best kept secrets.

    Beyond Manod Quary’s grey slabs of slate is a fascinating story of how millions of pounds worth of British historic masterpieces were kept safe deep underground at the height of World War II.

    Across Europe treasured art was looted, bombed and burnt during the war so efforts to protect the country’s most artworks from the Nazi bombs were made by Churchill as soon as war was declared in 1939.

    Among the items hidden deep in this Snowdonia mine were 19 Rembrandts, Van Dykes, Leonardo da Vincis and Gainsboroughs, as well as the Crown Jewels.

    All the royal pictures from the palaces, the Tate and the National Gallery were also transported to the quarry - disguised in delivery vans for a chocolate company.

    As soon as they arrived, purpose-designed squat brick “houses” were built inside the vast chambers to preserve the paintings in air-conditioned and heated safety.

    Narrow gauge tracks were extended and specially designed wagons were built to carry the nation’s treasures up the steep hill from Blaenau to the mine.

    Two years before the war ended, a rock fall slightly damaged five paintings, resulting in the rapid evacuation of 700 other from that part of the quarry.

    After that it was regularly inspected by engineers.

    The whole operation was kept top secret until it was eventually revealed after the Government’s lease on the quarry expired.

    The masterpieces were returned to the walls in London as soon as peace was declared in 1945.

    Manod proved to be so successful that, in the 1950s, it was the planned destination for Britain’s art treasures in the event of a third world war.

    Tunnels that housed thousands of mustard gas shell during the height of production in the war years will soon be open to the public for the first time.

    These former top secret tunnels at Rhydymwyn Valley Works housed thousands of mustard gas shells during the height of production during the war.

    The Valley Works, which now sit in the heart of a nature reserve near Mold, were converted into a mustard gas factory by ICI on the orders of Winston Churchill.

    Historians believe workers made up to 40,000 shells a week at the secret plant.

    Partially due to its location near dense woodland, Rhydymwyn is the only site of its kind not discovered by the Nazi intelligence and therefore was not a target for German bombers.

    But it’s role in Britain’s secret history did not end there. Amateur historians from the Rhydymwyn Valley History Society unearthed proof that the miles of tunnels also served as home to the developers of the first atomic bomb.

    The site, now part of a nature reserve, finally closed in 1994 and today, it is considered historically important.

    Ten years ago next summer, some of the uninspiring brick buildings were given protected status by Welsh heritage society, CADW.

    Rhydymwyn tunnel tours will open to the public in 2018 for five special tours in April, May, June, July and September.

    Booking is required. Visit to book.

    As soon as World War II was declared, the dissused Glyn Rhonwy slate quarry in the heart of Snowdonia became home to a secret munitions store.

    The quarry pits, equivalent to the size of two football pitches, stored around 18,000 tonnes of weapons for the duration of the war.

    When an RAF airbase needed ammunition for its planes, an order would be sent through to Glyn Rhonwy and be delivered by road or by rail.

    The site consisted of a number of deep open pits, linked together by tunnels.

    Narrow gauge railway lines entered the lower level of the depot. It also had an underground depot and was adapted to produce a store with two floors throughout, with electric lifts transporting bombs to the upper floor.

    In January 1942, two-thirds of the structure collapsed, burying 14,000 tons of bombs. The majority were recovered and although the remaining tunnels were eventually cleared of debris, no ammunition was ever stored underground at Llanberis again.

    Some 30 years later in the 1970s, the site was used to dispose of old and surplus bombs, bullets and grenades.

    It was confirmed that 70,000 German tabun nerve agent shells seized following World War II were held at the Llanberis quarry for a short time before they were moved to another facility near Caernarfon, and eventually dumped at sea.

    A £100m hydro-electric power plant has recently been given the go head on the site, that has been disused for years.

    The scheme will generate electricity by releasing water from a reservoir on higher ground to a second, lower reservoir.

    Building work could begin in 2018..

    See original post

  • December 19, 2017 6:43 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from ASIS Online

    Elizabeth is a seasoned security officer. She is on her third foot patrol of the night, inspecting the fence line, when she catches her shoe in a wire and falls into a ditch, breaking her wrist. John is on his second day of training when his instructor receives a report of a fight in the lunch room. During the security team’s response, John slips on a drink spilled during the ruckus, falls to the floor, and throws out his back.

    Most companies would respond to these injuries by implementing generally accepted preventive measures. They would install extra lighting along the fence. They would issue slip-resistant boots. They would then be satisfied that the safety issues were addressed. But they would be wrong. Unless management proactively works to change the overall culture, the stop-gap measures won’t stick.

    Reacting to safety incidents by improving safety policies and procedures is only part of the safety equation. For initiatives to be truly effective, security values must be woven into the fabric of the company’s operations through a safety culture.

    A safety culture creates an environment that gives priority to protecting the well-being of employees, customers, and the public, regardless of profit, schedules, or market share. This approach has to start at the CEO’s desk and spread through relationships with senior leadership, human resources, and throughout the management hierarchy.

    Management’s level of commitment to the safety culture directly affects the results. In addition, the message that safety is a priority must be pervasive and the safety culture concept must be reinforced through practices and supported through an awards and incentives system.

    This is not just theory. I have seen firsthand how such a program can succeed at a large organization with hundreds of offices worldwide and thousands of employees. This priority on safety has been proven to enhance performance and site security at my company. One measure of the results is that our insurance rating has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2004. Also, no employee has missed time from work as the result of a job-related injury for almost six years.

    Any company of any size can benefit from these same practices.

    Make Safety a Priority
    The goal is to have zero incidents. To achieve that objective, safety management must be integrated into the daily operating methodology of every employee at every level. Companies can do this by raising employee’s awareness to ensure that they maintain a proactive attitude towards safety.

    Managers throughout the company can raise awareness about safety by holding open meetings on safety topics to address timely issues, such as winter weather hazards or safe lifting techniques. Field managers should conduct a short safety briefing before each shift, reiterating that safe working conditions are the team’s first priority.

    In addition, the organization should have posters everywhere with slogans such as “Zero incidents is our goal.” These serve as constant reminders. When delivered correctly, these reminders help motivate the team to achieve zero accidents.

    Training is the next plank in a safety culture’s platform. The goal is to equip the entire staff with the knowledge to make smart decisions that keep them, their coworkers, and the assets they are protecting safe.

    Safety education and training should start on the first day of the job as a part of orientation, and it should continue for the duration of an employee’s tenure.

    During orientation, safety should be the first topic discussed. By giving it priority, the company stresses how important safety is to the corporate ethos.

    The employee handbook should prominently cover company safety information, policies, and procedures. Companies should put this section at the front of the publication for the same reason that they should put the topic first on the orientation agenda.

    Employees should also be asked to sign a “safety commitment letter” which confirms that they have read and that they understand the handbook’s safety chapter. The letter should commit them to abide by all regulations, identify and correct unsafe practices they encounter, and encourage others to follow the rules.

    Videos should be used to demonstrate basic safety scenarios and illustrate how they should be handled. When done properly, this type of presentation grabs the attention of employees and memorably communicates a lot of information in a short period of time.

    Initial instruction must be supplemented continuously and enforced constantly to keep lessons fresh in employees’ minds and current with industry developments. Regularly scheduled training updates by in-house safety experts or guest lecturers is a useful tactic.

    In any training exercise about procedures and how to use equipment, safety should be a focus of the discussion. The Point is not just to teach employees how to use a piece of machinery or which type of footwear is the best. Rather, the objective is to have safety on the minds of all workers at all times.

    The risk of not following procedures should also be highlighted. The more that employees understand about the risks associated with each task, the more they will understand the importance of safety.

    Another way to get the message of safety across is to develop a library of one-page safety case studies to reinforce training. These briefs should include a specific safety scenario and provide suggested solutions for handling it. As each new case study is written up, it should be distributed. Management should try to circulate one such document weekly or monthly. Employees should be required to read, sign, and return them.

    Once the case studies have been distributed, they should be kept in a central location—in hard copy or electronically on a computer depending on the working environment—so that employees can access them when needed. The signed copies should be retained in employees’ files to document this facet of their awareness training.

    Get Site Audits
    For employees who work outside the main office, such as security officers, training must be reinforced on location. If the location is a new client site, it should be surveyed for hazards and unsafe or unhealthy conditions. In addition, if the security team is going to a remote office or a client site, it is essential to make sure that those in charge at that site are on the same page when it comes to safety.

    The officer should proceed with the assignment only if it is deemed safe—even if that means turning down business in the case of contracted workers. The key point here is that for safety to become a core value, it must trump monetary gains within the corporate culture.

    Security officers face potentially unsafe conditions in some of the least expected places. For example, my company provides service in one location where there is a significant amount of truck traffic going through an entry control gate. The physical setup of the gate area was originally configured so that personnel were forced to walk in front of moving vehicles as they approached the gate.

    The situation became so severe that the company confronted the client. After discussing the problem, the client reconfigured the gate area. While the client was initially reluctant to do this, causing some friction in the relationship, our managers, through persistence and with supporting data, helped them understand the potential hazards the gate presented. In the end, everyone benefited, including the employees of the client company.

    The safety status of a site is not a static phenomenon. Weather conditions, wildlife, and people can quickly change a location’s safety conditions for the worse. To ensure that no new issues have developed at a site, officers should conduct a location audit before each shift. This is an obvious, yet often neglected, practice.  As a part of the audit, officers should go through a checklist of items that must be in place before work begins. This could include placing traffic cones at certain spots, salting roadways when icy, and checking the working order of receiving gates. Reviewing this checklist at the start of every shift programs employees to identify the state of their environment and take action to ensure that all areas are safe.

    Empower Staff
    Officers must be taught to stay on alert for more than just security threats. They have to be on the lookout for changes in the environment throughout their shift. When they identify an unsafe condition, they must be empowered to make immediate decisions that neutralize the threat.

    For example, if an officer is patrolling a perimeter on foot in the rain and suddenly sees lightning, he should feel free to immediately call his manager and tell him that he needs to find cover and delay the patrol until the storm passes. Though this seems like common sense, an officer told to adhere strictly to the rules may choose to continue the patrol rather than face an irate manager.

    Even more importantly, officers must feel free to question conditions, procedures, and requirements that strike them as unsafe. They must be able to offer ideas for corrective actions. These freedoms motivate officers to assume leadership roles in maintaining safety and becoming safety advocates in the process.

    Companies can enhance safety by making job-hazard analysis part of the daily routine. This process encourages officers to notify each other of unsafe conditions or habits they observe. In the earlier case of John, who slipped on a wet floor during a skirmish, a coworker might have prevented John’s fall if the coworker had been encouraged to keep an eye on fellow officers and had subsequently suggested that John wear anti-slip boots when on duty.

    Peer support can also include a buddy system. Managers can pair two officers and make each responsible for the team being equipped with proper safety gear before their shift. Together, these techniques instill situational awareness and reinforce responsibility.

    Encourage Communication
    An essential component of an effective safety culture is fostering an open, honest environment. Executives must be kept abreast of problems and how officers and managers are solving them or failing to respond. People must be accountable not only for making mistakes but also for failing to report mistakes they observe.

    Officers must be required to report to their supervisor the safety status of their site as well as any injuries sustained in the field. Reporting “near misses” is as important as reporting actual accidents, because by examining the underlying cause and implementing a fix, the company may prevent the next accident.

    For example, in the prior case of the poorly configured gate, the company used the reported “near misses” to prove that the area was dangerous. It did not wait for a fatality to show that safety was a real concern.

    In another instance, officers were required to manually open a gate for incoming and outgoing traffic. This procedure required that the officer swing the gate open and closed. As we continued our efforts to raise awareness about safety, the officers at this site began reporting “near miss” incidents. Each time they closed the gate, their fingers came very close to being crushed between the gate and the post that held the gate closed. 

    Site supervisors examined the problem and verified that someone could have their fingers severely damaged by the gate if they did not remove their hand quickly enough. The client agreed to fix the problem. Until then, supervisors instructed all personnel on the proper technique for closing the gate. The gate was reconfigured shortly after to ensure that there was no way that anyone could be injured while opening or closing the gate.

    As another way to further communication, field managers should provide updates for safety directors and executive leadership. Monthly conference calls are an easy way to do this. Managers can provide briefs on the safety status of their locations, including injuries sustained, challenges encountered, solutions developed, and lessons learned. They can also encourage discussion and solicit ideas to deal with unresolved problems.

    Ideally, a representative from the company’s workers’ compensation office should participate in these calls. He or she can discuss costs related to injuries, report on safety trends, and note any location that is incurring higher rates of injuries. The team can then discuss how these trends are affecting the company, and formulate actions to address them.

    Another simple, yet highly effective tool is a 24-hour, toll-free safety hotline. This gives officers a direct route by which to report safety concerns and violations to senior management. The hotline provides officers with a way to give reports anonymously, thus simultaneously addressing safety issues and issues with managers who are not listening to their officers.

    Create Incentives
    An awards and incentives program can be instrumental in cultivating a companywide safety culture and keeping people interested in it. Incentives need not be expensive or extravagant. Small recognitions are often enough to maintain employee interest.

    One idea is a company-sponsored luncheon for people who work accident-free for some period of time. The time period should be long enough to make the achievement worthwhile but not so long that officers forget the reward exists. A financial quarter or six months is a good length of time. Locations that are incident-free for a year can be honored with a dinner and a plaque.

    Field managers can also give “spot awards” to officers when they observe them going above and beyond their safety duties. These might include a monetary reward or promotional gift item.

    Another good option is using the company’s annual meeting to applaud safety performance. Giving the employees who have excelled at safety a chance to share the stage with top executives can boost morale and confidence.

    Company newsletters, e-mail feeds, and blogs can also provide good ways to recognize individuals and teams that have performed exceptionally well. These vehicles can be used to pass on advice and lessons learned from real-world situations.

    Contract security officers should be included in the incentives program. For example, they can be given plaques to honor a month, a quarter, or a year without a lost-time incident.

    Activities that foster critical thinking about safety and also include a reward should be encouraged. For example, in my company, managers often hold a “two-minute drill.” When officers arrive on site, they fill out a form that asks, “What’s the worst-case safety scenario that could happen to you and others here in the next two minutes?” Field managers collect the forms and review them at the end of the month. Officers with the most creative, yet plausible, responses receive a reward.

    Filling out the form puts officers in the safety mind-set, while the incentive encourages them to take the question seriously. They’re motivated to think about their safety and the safety of others and to keep safety top-of-mind as they start the day.

    Send It Home
    A safety culture should not start and end at the workplace. When safety is part of employees’ personal lives, they are more receptive to practicing safety at work. Management, therefore, should encourage employees to be safe wherever they are, whether at home, traveling, or at work.

    Toward this end, the company should incorporate home-safety education into workplace training. This can be done by having a brief discussion of a home-safety topic during company meetings. Possible topics include how to prepare your family to evacuate the home in a fire, how to secure your home against burglary, and what to do about carbon monoxide detection and radon testing.

    The company can disseminate this safety information through all standard communication vehicle, such as flyers and newsletters.

    My company uses all of these methods and the proof of the safety culture’s effectiveness is in the numbers. Last year, the security department reached a milestone of more than 34 million hours worked without an employee losing time from work due to an incident.

    See Original Post

  • December 19, 2017 6:43 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Reuters

    Southern California’s Getty Center, one of the world’s wealthiest art institutions, said it had survived a wildfire tearing through Los Angeles thanks to a disaster plan that has it ready for earthquakes as well.

    Fires that have chased almost 200,000 Californians from their homes covered the Getty’s hillside location in smoke this week. Perched above the busy 405 freeway, an artery of California’s traffic system, the Getty is among the most visited U.S. museums and reopened after two days closed.

    The Getty’s design, and a plan developed with insurers eager to keep the valuable collection safe, helped shield from damage art including Edouard Manet’s “Spring,” for which it paid more than $65 million in 2014.

    More than 5,700 firefighters have battled six large wind-stoked fires and several smaller ones that erupted since Monday. More than 200,000 people have been forced to evacuate. 

    As gray clouds swept onto the campus earlier in the week, a high-tech air filtration system pushed air out of buildings, making it harder for smoke to seep inside, said Linda Somerville, assistant director of insurance and risk management for the J. Paul Getty Trust, which oversees the Getty Center and has nearly $12 billion in assets, including art.

    The museum has its own water tanks and has landscaped the complex in order to keep flames at bay. 

    “By putting all these bells and whistles in, we are able to wet down our hillsides, close intake valves and keep smoke and debris out,” Somerville said. 

    Getty representatives meet quarterly with U.S. commercial property insurer FM Global, the Getty’s insurer, to review everything from brush on the property to sprinkler system design, Somerville said. 

    The Getty, which opened in 1997, also works year-round at preventing potential earthquake damage, Somerville said. 

    Art and display cases throughout the museum sit atop systems that absorb the energy of earthquake vibrations, known as base isolators. And experts who repair art and artifacts in the Getty’s conservation labs must secure the items to stable surfaces in case an earthquake hits. 

    “Everything is latched down at all times,” Somerville said.

    See Original Post

  • December 19, 2017 6:42 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Campus Safety Magazine

    On the five-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, here’s a brief review of active shooter prevention and response best practices.

    It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the Dec. 14, 2012 Sandy Hook school active shooter attack. Most of us can probably remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we learned that a deranged gunman had opened fire on the campus, killing 20 6- and 7-year-old students and six adults.

    Since then, the body count of U.S. active shooter attacks has escalated. The lethality of some of these recent attacks and their frequency is so significant that the 1999 Columbine High School mass shooting that killed 13 people is no longer among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in history.

    Although this trend is terrifying, there is some good news to report. More schools, universities and hospitals are taking steps to protect their campuses from active shooters.

    Case in point, the gunman responsible for the Nov. 14 rampage that killed five in Northern California was thwarted from killing anyone at Rancho Tehama Elementary School because staff quickly locked down the campus and had everyone shelter in place when they heard the gunfire. Surveillance video shows the shooter trying unsuccessfully to enter the campus, although he did fire many shots at the building, injuring a student who was hiding under a desk. The quick actions of school personnel undoubtedly saved lives.

    The Nov. 14 rampage serves as another reminder that we must continue to incorporate into our protective measures the lessons from the Sandy Hook mass shooting, not to mention the lessons from the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy.

    Here’s a list of some of the promising practices, in no particular order, that we’ve gleaned over the years. Hopefully, your campus has already implemented all or at least many of these steps.

    1. Communicate to everyone in your community in a proactive and non-fear-based way that they must take threats they hear, read and see seriously, and encourage them to report their concerns to campus and local authorities.
    2. Work with local first responders to develop response plans, and conduct drills and full-scale exercises with them.
    3. Regularly and frequently train students, teachers, staff, clinicians and administrators on how to respond under stress to all kinds of emergencies, including active shooters, via drills and, when possible and appropriate, full-scale exercises.
    4. Incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in new construction and renovation projects to delay or possibly even prevent the entry of potential attackers. Properly implemented CPTED concepts also enable administrators to get a better view of what is happening on and around campus, which also improves security.
    5. Adopt multiple layers of emergency/mass notification so that those who are able can take steps to protect themselves via lockdown, evacuation or by avoiding the area where the emergency is taking place. Emergency notification should be used to communicate with your community before, during and after an emergency. Additionally, adopt two-way radios so staff can communicate during an emergency.
    6. Create multidisciplinary threat and behavioral assessment teams on campus to identify and respond to at-risk individuals who show signs that they might harm themselves or others.
    7. Set up anonymous tip lines (text, email and/or phone) so that students, staff, clinicians and patients can anonymously report concerning behavior to campus officials and threat/behavioral assessment teams. Encourage the use of these solutions and educate the campus community on how to use them.
    8. Install locks and other appropriate access control equipment to prevent or at least delay the entry of unauthorized individuals to campus. Install locks on the interiors of classrooms so they can be locked from the inside of the room.
    9. Implement effective visitor management and records management systems to identify sex offenders, non-custodial parents, individuals with a history of domestic/dating abuse and workplace violence, etc. so they are not allowed entry into your facility.
    10. Develop effective parent/student reunification plans and processes.
    11. Make arrangements for mental health services to be provided after a tragedy so students, staff, clinicians, administrators and faculty can emotionally recover, even if they weren’t physically injured during the attack.
    12. Develop the plans, policies and procedures necessary to implement No. 1-11.

    This list is not complete and each item is multifaceted. That being said, sometimes we need to go back to the basics. This is especially true for folks who are new to the field of school, hospital and university security, but it’s also true for those of us who might have forgotten.

    I urge you to never forget the lessons we learned from Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and other campus tragedies. Otherwise, we’ll need to be reminded, and that reminder could be deadly.

    See Original Post

  • December 19, 2017 6:41 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from 9 News Australia

    A Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece which was valued just over $100m ten years ago is now being touted as the first painting in the world that could fetch $1bn at auction.

    The staggering 10-figure price tag is viewed in art circles as entirely possible, following last month's sale of Leonardo's Salvator Mundi for a world record $591m.

    Of the 20 Leonardo Da Vinci paintings thought to be in existence, all except two are held by the world's most famous and powerful art museums.

    One of those works, Madonna of the Yarnwinder, painted by Leonardo in the early 16th century, is privately owned by one of Britain's wealthiest aristocrats - Richard Scott, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch.

    The art world is now wondering if the duke, who is Scotland's largest landowner, will be tempted to put his prized treasure on the auction block.

    The Madonna of the Yarnwinder, a small 48cm x 37cm canvas featuring a seated Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus, has been a possession in the duke's family for around 250 years.

    However, in 2003 the painting went missing for four years, after two men armed with a knife and axe stole it from the duke's Drumlanrig castle, near Dumfries. Drumlanrig Castle was used as a set in the popular British-American television drama series, Outlander.

    The two men had posed as tourists wanting to see the duke's collection of paintings, which is thought to be the UK's most valuable private holding.

    Alison Russell, an 18-year-old tour guide, described how the art thieves had been waiting outside the castle for the doors to open, one morning in August 2003.

    The pair ignored all the other paintings and galleries inside the castle, and instead rushed Ms Russell towards the room where the duke's prized centrepiece was hung.

    Once there, one of the men grabbed her and held a knife to her throat. The other stood guard by the painting with an axe, warning Ms Russell's co-workers to stay away.

    They removed the Leonardo painting from the wall, and escaped out a window.

    The biggest art theft in British history remained an unsolved mystery until 2007 when a man named Marshall Ronald contacted the duke, saying he knew where the Leonardo was and could arrange its return for a fee of almost $10m.

    That led to two undercover police, who posed as an art expert and the duke's representative, meeting with Ronald, an English lawyer.

    It was agreed the Leonardo would be taken to a law firm in Glasgow, where a second meeting was raided by police and the painting returned to the Duke of Buccleuch.

    The Madonna of the Yarnwinder is currently on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.

    Jaynie Anderson, a professor of fine arts at the University of Melbourne, said Leonardo's Madonna of the Yarnwinder was a "much more beautiful painting" than the Salvator Mundi.

    The Salvator Mundi, showing Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes holding a crystal sphere, was significantly damaged, and it had required extensive restoration work at a New York City studio.

    "I'm amazed at the price the Salvator Mundi went for," Prof Anderson said.

    "The face is very damaged. And I think the fact that the face of Christ is damaged sort of inhibits you really liking the picture."

    Some art critics had also doubted the authenticity of Salvator Mundi in the lead up to last month's Christie's auction. In contrast, Prof Anderson said the provenance of Leonardo's Madonna of the Yarnwinder was "impeccable".

    "It is an important composition and a very interesting proposition for auction," Prof Anderson said.

    "If it went up for sale I think it could go for much more than the Salvator Mundi. It is a much more beautiful painting, a far more sexy painting."

    An auction would inevitably attract big money bidders from Chinese billionaires, Russian oligrachs and Middle East royals. However, such is the rarity and allure of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder, Prof Anderson believed American billionaires and museums could also be prompted into action.

    "There is competition between elite museums to make the best acquisitions," Prof Anderson said.

    "The fact it is now on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland might mean that the Duke of Buccleuch intends to gift it to them when he dies. But that is an awful lot of money, so he is probably thinking about it. And if he isn't, the big auction houses like Christie's most certainly will be."

    As well as the scarcity of Leonardo's works, Prof Anderson said the Italian artist, who was born in 1452, had never gone out of fashion – unlike other famous painters.

    "Leonardo is very sympathetic. Everybody is fascinated with him as a personality," Prof Anderson said.

    Prof Anderson, an expert in Italian Renaissance art, described Leonardo as a melancholic, neurotic and beautiful man, and likened his appeal to Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    "When he walked down the street his contemporaries said you couldn't stop staring at him."

    Leonardo was not a prolific painter, but he was constantly drawing and writing, she added.

    "Contemporaries describe him working on The Last Supper, and how he spent ages just staring at it and not doing anything."

    It was confirmed last week that Salvator Mundi will hang at The Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

    There is a second version of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder, which is likely the only other Leonardo da Vinci painting in private hands.

    The identity of the owner is unknown, but it is believed to be an American collector.

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  • December 19, 2017 6:40 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from NewsLetter

    The Ulster Museum is taking no risks after putting on display a painting by a Dutch master that has been stolen three times. There was a visible security presence as the museum unveiled The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael which was stolen from the same stately home in Co Wicklow three times between 1974 and 2002 but recovered on each occasion.

    Acquired more than a century ago by Sir Otto Beit, the piece joined a considerable collection of Old Master works assembled by his relative, the diamond magnate Alfred Beit. In 1930, the collection passed to his son Sir Alfred Lane Beit – a former British MP – who relocated it some 20 years later to Russborough House where The Cornfield hung in the saloon alongside other Dutch paintings. The painting was stolen from Russborough House for the first time in 1974 by an IRA gang.

    The gang broke into the property making off with 19 paintings including the van Ruisdael. All of the stolen paintings were recovered in Co Cork a few weeks later. In 1986, the house was robbed again, this time by the Dublin criminal Martin Cahill nicknamed The General. He took the van Ruisdael as part of a heist of 18 paintings. However, The Cornfield was recovered days after the robbery.

    A 1998 film about Cahill’s exploits starred Brendan Gleeson and featured the infamous theft of the paintings from Russborough House. In 2002 The Cornfield was once again stolen from the stately home along with four other paintings. They were recovered three months later. Since then the painting has been acquired through the Acceptance in Lieu Scheme and allocated to National Museums Northern Ireland where it was today unveiled in the Ulster Museum. The acceptance of this painting settled tax worth £1million.

    Kathryn Thomson, chief executive of National Museums NI, said: “We are thrilled that The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael has been given to National Museums NI for all our visitors to enjoy. “The Ulster Museum holds a small but important collection of 17th century Dutch paintings and the undisputed beauty of The Cornfield, an important work from the Beit collection, will significantly enhance this collection. “I have no doubt that this beautiful painting will captivate visitors to the Ulster Museum.” The Cornfield by Jacob van Ruisdael will be on display in the Life and Light Dutch and Italian Painting exhibition at the Ulster Museum. Admission to the museum is free.

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