Museum security is a universal term which essentially refers to the protection of historical and cultural artefacts and also the public premises that house them. Security threats across museums in the world have increased tremendously and at the same time, museums are offering protection to the artefacts, careful not to make the place less enjoyable. Another constrain to the museum security is a tight budget which makes the managers think twice about the kind of security that is expected and what can be offered an adaptable multilayered approach is imperative so as to mitigate and prevent risks that befall a museums collection, visitors and staff. This basically involves use of specialist software and technology in combination with gallery assistants and security guards. Most of museum security information has been researched before by scholars. This article will concentrate on the work of David Liston and Robert Burke on their book entitled Museum Security and Protection.
The handbook is considered an international standard text for basic security procedures. Earlier, the book was written as a guide to museum security but it was recently enlarged, revised and updated fully to incorporate international standards and give a wider knowledge on museum security. The book entails almost everything to do with security, from training, security personnel, to transport and collection management, environmental and fire hazards and disaster planning among others. The manual is designed to favor all kind of museums regardless of the structure, size and other resources like electronic security procedures.
Museum security matters for various reasons, beginning with protection of visitors and workers to the cultural heritage of communities in the world. The UK is the chief habitat to some of the greatest institutions and collections in the world in terms of history and culture. Museum security became a global issue with the increasing cases of insecurities. A Jewish Museum in Brussels was attacked by terrorists in 2014, and in 2015 Bardo Museum in Tunisia was attacked, causing death of over 20 tourists and visitors and injuring others. The Paris attacks in November led to closure of the Louvre and other cultural sites for some days. The sites were opened later enhanced security measures so as to prevent a similar or related incident. Cultural sites in Syria, Iraq and Mali were looted severally and destroyed by alleged groups of people who wanted to destroy and bury the cultural heritage of their enemies.
The book contains information on how to deal with almost every aspect of museum security. The museum security is wide because it covers both the people and the historical and cultural heritage. The cultural heritage is closely monitored and protected because it defines the roots of people regarding their communities because times have changed and in most cases, culture is fully corrupted. The book offers insights on how to carry out investigations and spies on an impending attack to prevent it from happening. Liston and Burke has a great experience with museum security and ways of preventing the threat before it happens.
The book is accessible in most of the libraries or one can purchase is at Amazon.com, they are readily available. The handbook contains credible information about museum security and new ways of safeguarding the premises. The book has offered a wide range of options and security measures to cover all the museums irrespective of the status accorded to the museum.
Burke, Robert, and David Liston, eds. Museum Security and Protection: A handbook for cultural heritage institutions. Routledge, 2005.
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