Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Egypt to Improve Museum Security After Van Gogh Theft

Bloomberg Businessweek (Alaa Shahine)

Egypt plans to set up a security control room to monitor all museums after the theft of a $55 million Vincent van Gogh painting in Cairo, Zahi Hawass, head of the country’s antiquities agency said today.

Culture Minister Faruq Hosni also has formed a committee to review security measures after the theft at the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum, Hawass said in an e-mailed statement.

The committee “aims to review all current measures used to secure works of art, as well as what is needed” to improve security, said Hawass, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Antiquities. The panel will work with the National Security Agency to train museum personnel, he said. . . . .

Only seven out of 43 security cameras were functioning and none of the alarms attached to the museum’s paintings was working, the public prosecutor told reporters on Aug. 22 at the museum after the theft had been discovered.

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