SAFEGUARDING OUR SHARED ART AND MATERIAL TREASURES
“Art unites the spiritual and material realms. In an age of alluring, magical machines, the society that forgets art risks losing its soul” - Camille Paglia, critic and professor at Uni. of the Arts in Philadelphia
Art is eternal but it’s medium ephemeral. We want to celebrate it and share it, but how do we keep it safe for posterity? More than 50 000 art pieces are listed to be stolen, not to mention losses due to mismanagement or miscarriage. This is the reality the world of art management is facing; The challenges for this sector are immense. It carries the responsibility to safeguard pieces of art, assuring their safety while in transit and assessing their provenance.
On the safeguarding aspect, the focus has been on assuring art pieces are at all times under surveillance, from the moment they are on restoration to the exhibition or auction. There are no fewer tribulations regarding transportation. This recent podcast by The Guardian “How to move a masterpiece: the secret business of shipping priceless artwork” highlights the huge challenges, not only from a logistics point of view but also in terms of guaranteeing integrity and security.
Finally, the issue of provenance is a constant reminder to the professionals in this area. Not only because it touches on the delicate point of the forgery but also requires a historical track that art pieces were passed from one person to another in legitimate ways. Indeed, Interpol itself has raised this very issue and suggested ways how to tackle it in its symposium “Protecting cultural heritage by disrupting the illicit trade”.
Concerns for Biometric Adoptions
The case for the adoption of biometric solutions is compelling because they cover all three key concerns identified:
Safeguard: Access to storage rooms can be restricted to a limited number of people which all parties deem safe. The solution provides secure and assured identification with transparent records. That helps to prevent misplacement, theft, or other criminal activities. The German parliament passed a draft of a new anti-money laundering law, stating that regulations around art dealers also include warehouses, intermediaries, and auction houses (DW).
Traceability: Identification through biometric features must not be limited to one end. While in transport, not only the art pieces should be tracked via barcodes or RFID tags but also the deliverers should use portable biometric devices. Thus, biometric solutions help to identify where a piece is presently located and also record the last responsible person who deposited the item in such a location.
Provenance: Authenticity is the most important issue in artwork trading. Some have even called for efforts to develop a method of embedding an artist's fingerprint in a work by using a biometric authentication system. Beyond that, origin-through-identification can evolve into attaching works of art to gallery owners.
Touchless Biometric Systems is the specialist behind the world’s largest security integrators and countless resellers – providing biometric expertise, products, and solutions in Access Control and Time & Attendance. Timeless aesthetics, flexible functionality, and radical simplicity – that’s what makes TBS stand out from the rest.
TBS can pull experience and collaborations throughout the world due to its unique position in biometric access control. Compelling devices with great security features and accuracy, adaptable form factors, and convenient solutions are ready to support your needs. Biometric installations don’t need to be intimidating, though. TBS devices are discreet, elegant, and easy to use, a piece of art in itself inspired by the awe-inspiring beauty of the Swiss Alps and that sheltering feeling of its valleys.