INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FORCULTURAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
Reposted from The ABC (Australia)
In a video posted by tourism organisation VisitFlanders, two "social media inspectors" wearing uniforms emblazoned with something like the Facebook logo approach people in the gallery to ask if they have social media accounts.
If they answer yes, the bemused tourists are steered away to non-nude paintings.
"It's for your own protection," the actors tell visitors as they block their view of a painting of Adam and Eve at the Rubens House Museum in Antwerp.
Most of the art lovers take the ban on paintings "focused on individual body parts such as abs, buttocks or cleavage" in good spirits, but one woman ushered away from the gallery protests by lifting up her shirt to show the security guard her own chest.
Rubens, famed for his paintings of voluptuous female nudes, is one of the most acclaimed painters of the baroque tradition.
But Facebook's policy of blocking advertisements that depict nudity meant that VisitFlanders' ads for the Rubens House Museum were treated in the same way as pornography.
The policy only applies to adverts, and the paintings are allowed to be uploaded as normal posts.
"Advertisers follow more extensive rules than regular users, because these messages are proactively pushed instead of you, as a user, for example, deliberately decide to follow the Facebook page of the Rubens House," a Facebook spokeswoman said.
VisitFlanders said it was in touch with the platform to seek to resolve the issue.
In 2016, Facebook reversed its decision to remove a famous Vietnam War photograph of a naked girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc, running away after a napalm attack.
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Reposted from CNN
What began with a quick grab-and-go theft Saturday at the San Antonio Aquarium -- the suspect leaving a trail of water drops as he hurried away with his dripping prize of a small but very much alive shark -- ended Monday with the safe return of "Miss Helen" to her tank at the aquarium.
The 16-inch female horn shark was taken during a heist that aquarium officials said was no spur-of-the-moment, let's-steal-a-shark thing.
"The suspects staked out the pool for more than an hour" to wait for the right moment, the aquarium said in a statement.
The search for the young female shark, known to aquarium staff as Miss Helen, led police Monday to the home of a man who maintains an extensive collection of marine life, according to the police chief of the San Antonio suburb where the aquarium is located.
"When we got into the garage and into the house it looked like almost a mock up of (the San Antonio Aquarium)," said Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio. "He knew very much what he was doing and kept that animal alive."
Surveillance video, which the aquarium posted on its Facebook page, caught the heist as it happened. Two men and a woman with a infant wandered through the facility with a baby stroller in tow. The trio is seen on the video hanging around the tank where visitors can feed the fish and reach in the water and pet various sea life.
One of the men quickly bends over and pulls something from the tank, using a net that aquarium officials said he'd brought with him. The man then disappears out of camera range with his male companion following him as the woman walks around with the baby.
"After grabbing the shark they entered into one of our filter rooms where they poured (a) bucket of bleach solution that employees used for the disinfection of tools into our cold water exhibit filtration system, causing harm to other wildlife," the aquarium statement said. The men put the shark in the bucket and stashed it on the stroller to make their getaway.
Fast-acting staff, realizing what had happened, were able to prevent the bleach from doing more damage.
And from there, the shark hunt was on.
"When we first got the call, we thought it was kind of a hoax, being that it was Shark Week last week," Police Chief Salvaggio, referring to the Discovery Channel's week of shark-related programming, told CNN affiliate KSAT.
On Monday night, police successfully rescued the shark and returned her to the aquarium. Staff applauded and cheered as Miss Helen made her homecoming.
Police don't believe the shark was taken to sell but to be added to the suspect's collection.
"It was something he wanted, he had one of these in the past," said Salvaggio. "He had one that passed away."
One man has been charged with theft and charges for two other individuals are pending, according to Salvaggio.
Miss Helen is now being held in quarantine as staff tests the water she was held in and acclimates her back into the aquarium environment.
"I'm so so happy that we got her back and she appears very healthy," Jamie Shank with the San Antonio Aquarium told KSAT as the shark arrived. "I can't believe what she's been through, she's a little fighter. She's a survivor."
Reposted from CTV News
Police are searching for a “bold” thief who stole an oil painting from a Calgary art gallery in the middle of the day.
Yves Trepanier, co-owner of the Trepanier Baer Gallery, said a well-dressed man came in and toured the gallery at around noon on Wednesday. He said the suspect spoke with several staff members who explained the exhibit to him and showed him around.
“It’s very bold,” Trepanier told CTV Calgary on Friday. “I mean this is broad daylight, this is over the lunch hour, this is three people talking to the person – the suspect – and he somehow managed to fool us.”
The gallery owner said they believe the suspect took the painting from the wall between 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. that day.
The small oil painting by Kingston, Ont. artist Mike Bayne was titled “TP, Headphones, Laptop, Brushes” and portrayed the artist’s workspace. Trepanier said the piece is worth $12,000.
“It was a small little intimate painting measuring four by six inches in black and white,” he said. “[It was an] absolutely wonderful little thing.”
Trepanier said he is shocked and disappointed they didn’t see the theft and intervene. He said staff called police as soon as they noticed the painting was missing.
The gallery also notified the Art Dealers Association of Canada so the organization could alert the art community, which includes sellers, appraisers, and auction houses.
“We're hoping it will be harder for this person to sell the painting if that’s the intent,” Trepanier said. “Selling artwork, stolen artwork, is not an easy thing to do.”
Trepanier said he gave the gallery’s surveillance video to police to help the investigation.
The gallery had insurance on the stolen painting and the artist has also been informed of the theft, Trepanier said.
Reposted from WLRN Miami - South Florida
The two men responsible for stealing a gold bar from a Key West treasure museum were sentenced Monday at the federal courthouse in Key West.
Richard Johnson received five years and three months in federal prison, while Jarred Goldman was ordered to serve three years and four months.
The two drove to Key West from Palm Beach County in August of 2010. Security video from the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum shows them both hanging around the museum near closing time and returning repeatedly to the museum's most popular exhibit — a gold bar in a clear case with a hole in front. Museum visitors were encouraged to reach in to touch and lift the gold bar, which came from the Santa Margarita, a Spanish treasure galleon that wrecked off the Keys in 1622.
Johnson and Goldman got away with the theft for more than seven years, until the FBI received an anonymous tip. They were indicted in January. Johnson pled guilty, while Goldman went to trial and was convicted in May.
Both men apologized in court Monday, to the museum and to the Key West community.
The pair was also ordered to pay $580,195.43 in restitution to the museum, which displays treasure and other historical artifacts from the days of sailing trade between Europe and the Americas.
The museum was founded by treasure hunter Mel Fisher, who was famous for discovering the mother lode of Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the treasure galleon that also sank in the 1622 hurricane.
While the insurance company paid the museum about $100,000 for the loss of the gold bar, the museum's executive director insisted in court Monday that it was worth far more — if not priceless.
Melissa Kendrick said establishing a fair market value for the bar by comparing it to sales of other shipwreck gold wasn't fair.
"Those bars do not have a pedigree that the bar stolen from the museum had. Those bars were ordinary shipwreck bars," she said. "This bar was iconic."
The "lift-a-gold-bar" exhibit was the museum's centerpiece, and featured heavily in their marketing.
"Probably about 3 to 4 million people lifted that bar," Kendrick said. "Even if you have the insurance money for it, you can't replace it. There's not another."
The defense attorneys argued that the bar's historic value was included in the comparable sales and insurance payout.
But Kendrick said the bar was worth more than the value of the gold.
"The cultural community doesn't value a Rembrandt for the cost of the canvas and the paint," she said.
U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez appeared to agree, setting the value at $556,000 and ordering the restitution — even as he doubted whether it would ever be paid.
"That's a bad crime. It's not like they stole a tank full of gasoline," he said. "It resulted in the destruction of an artifact that was priceless — I really believe it was priceless."
Martinez compared the value of the stolen and destroyed gold bar to Magna Carta, the document from 1215 that established rights of different parts of English society.
"It's worth, what, 12 cents in scrap paper?" Martinez said. "But it's not."
Reposted from CBC Radio
When London bookseller Pom Harrington bought a rare edition of Issac Newton's Principia from a Pittsburgh dealer, he assumed everything was on the up-and-up.
Then he learned the copy of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica — valued at $900,000 US — was one of hundreds of items allegedly stolen from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh as part of what police say was a 20-year, $8-million heist.
"To be honest, I still don't really believe it," Harrington, who runs the Peter Harrington rare bookshop in London, told As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch. "It really is a complete shock."
John Schulman, 54, the antique bookseller who sold Harrington the book, and Gregory Priore, 61, an archivist at Carnegie Library, have been charged with theft, conspiracy, forgery and receiving stolen property in connection with hundreds of missing books, photographs, illustrations and maps.
Harrington said he's had a long and fruitful business relationship with Schulman, who he described as a trusted and well-known seller.
"He's been trading books for many years. We've been going to American books shows and buying books from him, as we all do," Harrington said.
"You know, he's a very good book dealer."
Lawyers for Schulman and Priore did not return messages from the Associated Press seeking comment.
Robert G. Del Greco Jr., who represents Schulman, told the Washington Post in an emailed statement: "The complaint sets forth serious allegations, and we are treating them as such."
Police allege Priore spent years snatching valuable items from the library and dropping them off down the street at Schulman's Caliban Book Store, one block away.
The alleged scheme started unraveling last year when appraisers began a routine audit commissioned by the library and discovered that items were missing or damaged since the last audit in 1991.
Researchers found more than 300 items damaged or missing, a loss estimated at $8 million US.
The library locked down the room, and appraisers quickly began finding missing items for sale online, as well as items that had been sold or advertised by Caliban Book Store.
In June 2017, library officials contacted authorities and fired Priore.
In a statement, library officials said they were "deeply disappointed that at the center of this case are two people who had close, long-standing relationships with the library."
Detectives say efforts to recover the items have netted books, plates and maps estimated at a value of $1.1 million US.
Some were found during a search last year of Schulman's book warehouse, detectives said.
By the time Harrington learned the copy of Principia was allegedly ill-gotten, he'd already sold to a third party.
"Fortunately, the book was not far away," he said.
"We obviously got the book back from the collector and refunded them, and we managed to repatriate the book back to the library."
Ellen Dunlap, president of the American Antiquarian Society, said institutions, booksellers and collectors likely are going through their records to determine whether they bought or resold anything from Caliban Book Store.
"I can assure you if anybody bought anything from Caliban, they're seeing these headlines and saying, 'Uh oh, I'm looking at my books right now,"' Dunlap said.
That said, Harrington said theft in the rare book world is extremely uncommon.
Any time a book is flagged as stolen, it's recorded in a database run by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.
"It's almost impossible to sell stolen books once they're known to be stolen, so it's not actually a huge problem, fortunately," he said.
"But every now and again, things will go wrong."
Reposted from The Art Loss Register
Following the success of The Watch Register, we are delighted to announce the launch of The Gun Loss Register. This newly-developed due diligence service is to support the gun trade, insurers and police by providing a centralized international database of stolen guns to increase chances of their recovery, and to deter theft.
For over 25 years, the Art Loss Register has recorded more than 5,000 stolen guns, from Purdey’s, Holland & Holland and Westley Richards rifles, to flintlock pistols and 17th century antique firearms.
Simon West OBE, incoming director of the UK-based Gun Trade Association, said: “The GTA strongly endorses The Gun Loss Register. We see it as a vital contribution to the international battle against the trade in stolen guns. It will provide significant deterrence against theft itself and allow the trade and private purchasers to check the Register and buy with confidence".
Reposted from Allied Universal Blog
by Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal
It began with a vision of becoming phenomenal. This week with the announcement that Allied Universal has agreed to acquire U.S. Security Associates (USSA), the foundation has been laid to realize that goal.
Around this time in 2017, we celebrated our one-year anniversary as Allied Universal, formed from the merger of Universal Services of America and AlliedBarton Security Services to face a new security era together.
This week I’m proud to welcome the USSA team into the Allied Universal family. Over the years, USSA has evolved into one of the leaders in the security industry and like us, provides a unique suite of security solutions to a wide array of clients across industry verticals.
The need for security has evolved on all levels. Emerging threats, coupled with a stronger emphasis on safety and changing business environments abound around the globe. Likewise, Allied Universal is keeping pace. This partnership:
• Expands Allied Universal’s national presence and customer service capabilities.
• Enhances our position in Canada, as well as expands our footprint to Central America and the United Kingdom.
• Adds a sizable consulting and investigative division and event staffing business.
With more solutions and resources to complement our already burgeoning integrated suite of services and technology offerings, we’re prime to serve even more customers with greater capabilities.
Our progression continues. However, our mission remains the same: Allied Universal provides unparalleled service, systems and solutions to serve, secure and care for the people and businesses of our communities. We put our relationships with our employees and clients at the heart of everything we do each and every day.
I want to express appreciation for our employees and clients on whom the success of Allied Universal depends. Without you, there would be no us. Thank you for being a part of our legacy.
View the press release announcing the acquisition at this link.
Reposted from NBC Chicago
Two boys, ages 11 and 13, have been charged with causing more than $100,000 in damage this month to the Fox River Trolley Museum in northwest suburban South Elgin.
On July 8, police responded to reports of vandalism at the museum located at 365 Fox Street and found that two of the museum’s buildings and been broken in to and several trolley cars were damaged, according to South Elgin police.
The vandalism happened sometime between July 4 and July 7. The vandals broke dozens of windows and damaged eight trolley cars in the museum’s collection, according to an online statement by Museum President Edward Konecki.
One of the cars had 26 windows punched out, while another had its headlights smashed, damaging light bulbs that have not been produced in several decades, said Konecki.
The Fox River car 304, which dates back to the Fox River Line in 1923, suffered the most damage, said Konecki.
The estimated repairs will cost between $110,00 to $150,000 or higher, according to Jeff Bennett, the museum’s chief car officer.
“We are all heartbroken and scrambling to repair the damage,” said Bennett.
While investigating, police found evidence at the scene that led them to a residence where they identified one of the juvenile suspects, police said.
The boys were each charged with one count of burglary and one count of criminal damage to property and were being referred to the Kane County Court, police said.
They have not been identified due to their age.
The non-profit museum called the vandalism “the biggest threat to the museum’s survival in its 57-year history” and has launched a crowdfunding effort to help with repairs.
The museum has set a $110,000 goal on a GoFundMe account, and officials say they are hoping to repair the 304 Trolley Car in time for its Trolleyfest weekend, scheduled for Aug. 18 and 19.
Museum operations are continuing as normal despite the damage, open weekends and holidays through Labor Day and Sundays through the end of October.
Reposted from The Daily World
Attempts to recover artifacts from the Aberdeen Museum of History are still in the distant future.
According to Aberdeen Parks Director Stacie Barnum, the city needs to hire a structural engineer to assess what areas of the structure are unsafe before anyone is allowed in to recover items that may have survived June’s Armory building fire.
Barnum said it could take up to four weeks before the city hires the engineer and begins work.
After that, Barnum said the city would need a separate company to clean up the building and a third group that would carry out the recovery. All of these contractors would need to be approved by the Aberdeen City Council before being hired.
The primary concern for former museum director Dann Sears is that the exhibition catalog is still inside the building on computer hard drives. Sears said he wishes the process to recover artifacts could go faster, as with every passing day it becomes more likely the hard drive is not salvageable.
“That window of time is closing for us, if we don’t get in there and get them out, chances are (the hard drives) will corrode and rust, and we won’t be able to get the information on those,” said Sears.
The digital catalog has important information for each artifact in the museum, such as the date it’s from, the manufacturer, who donated it and where it was stored in the museum.
This same catalog is stored both on a basement computer hard drive and on a server on the main floor. The basement floor had been filled with four feet of water at one point.
When hired companies come in to clean the museum and make it safe for entry, Sears said he hopes they take precautions to avoid damaging any artifacts that may be hidden under rubble
“I wouldn’t like to just see people shoveling stuff into a pile with a fork loader,” said Sears. “It’s almost like an archaeological site now.”
Shortly after the fire, Mayor Erik Larson declared a state of emergency so he could enter into a contract with ServPro, which salvaged documents from the basement archives, without needing the City Council’s approval.
At this week’s council meeting, Aberdeen City Attorney Patrice Kent said the city wanted to use the state of emergency so Larson could enter into a contract with a structural engineer without needing council approval.
However, because so much time has passed since the state of emergency was made, Kent said the city’s auditor would not approve of the city entering an agreement in this way.
“The final response that came from the auditor was: It’s too long since it happened,” said Kent. “Despite that we didn’t know when the site would be released, that we didn’t know when we’d have these opportunities, the auditor said internally, ‘We will not be able to stand behind an emergency proclamation for contracting at this phase.’”
When a salvage company is hired by the city, Barnum said they would be the only ones allowed into the building due to the various hazards.
“There are a lot of different kinds of mold in there,” said Barnum. “We’ll have to test for asbestos. There are too many hazardous materials for just an average person to go in there.”
Reposted from Security Magazine
More than a third of senior executives believe that younger employees are the “main culprits” for data security breaches in the workplace according to a new independent study into attitudes of the next generation workforce about cybersecurity, commissioned by Centrify.
The study also reveals that these same decision makers are doing very little to allay their own fears, with more than a third of 18-24-year olds able to access any files on their company network and only one in five having to request permission to access specific files. Less than half (43%) have access only to the files that are relevant to their work.
The study, conducted by Censuswide, sought the views of 1,000 next generation workers (18-24 year olds) and 500 decision makers in UK organizations to discover how security, privacy and online behavior at work impacts the lives of younger employees and the companies that they work for.
While password sharing tops the list at 56 percent as to what keeps decision makers awake at night, 29 percent of younger workers reveal that they are in the driving seat when it comes to password changes with their employers leaving it to them to decide when they need a password change. Furthermore 15 percent of them admit to freely sharing passwords with colleagues.
Asked how younger employees could negatively impact the workplace, 47 percent of decision makers worry about them sharing social media posts and the impact these could have on brand and reputation. One in five workers are not bothered about how their social media activity might affect their employers – and 18 percent freely admit that their posts could compromise employers’ security and privacy policies. Less than half say their company has social media guidelines in place, highlighting the need for strong social media access controls that follow the principles of a ‘Zero Trust’ approach to security, which assumes that users inside a network are no more trustworthy than those outside the network.
The next generation of workers’ ‘always on’ approach to technology – with no experience of an off-line world – further reinforces the need for robust security policies. When it comes to this generation of workers, 40 percent of decision makers are concerned about their misuse of devices, while 35 percent say they are too trusting of technology and 30 percent worry they share company data too easily.
While 79 percent of decision makers report having a strong security policy in place and 74 percent of them think that their employees abide by it, over a third (37 percent) feel that young workers are too relaxed about security policies.
Decision makers also say the next generation of workers have a good awareness of the Dark Web (87 percent), underground hacking (79 percent) and crimeware (81 percent). Although around half (48 percent) say they have strict guidelines in place for employees accessing these new ‘dark arts’, 39 percent feel they could be better.
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