IAASF 2021 - COVID Special

IAASF Conference "Protecting Cultural Heritage in a Global Pandemic" 1-2 September 2021, Darlington (UK)

To register for the conference, please visit our Eventbrite page. Places limited.


Covid-19 has negatively impacted the arts and culture sectors causing operational disruption, financial losses and unfortunately the closure of some venues. The ability to maintain and protect collections and venues was made harder due to restrictions, the loss of revenue and having to operate with reduced staff and limited opening times.

This has the potential to increase the likelihood of collections, venues and sites being targeted by criminals and other adversarial threats. For this reason, the IAASF (International Arts and Antiquities Security Forum) is hosting a two-day event to share information about the security and safety risks that exist, and sensible approaches to proactively manage and reduce them. The conference provides delegates, who have responsibilities for the protection, custody and management of arts and antiques, with a professional learning experience assured by the presence and involvement of renowned professionals from across the sectors.

Due to the continued crisis caused by COVID and the devastating impact upon the sectors those staff directly engaged within the arts, antiquities and cultural heritage sectors will have FREE access to the conference (others will be asked to contribute).

Objectives of the Conference

At the conclusion of the conference the delegates will have a better understanding of:

  • The threats that exist.
  • Current criminal patterns and trends.
  • Concepts of security design principles.
  • Cultural venue security operational practices.
  • Training and education within the cultural and heritage sectors.
  • Security Risk Management practices.
  • Logistical considerations.
  • Insurance considerations.

Content of the Conference

The content will cover the following key areas (*subject to change focus in 2021):

Scale of the Problem: The threats and risks that the arts, antiquities, and cultural heritage sectors are facing are discussed and put into realistic perspective, including the impact of COVID-19. Identifying and discussing adversarial and non-adversarial threats to the sector, and how they manifest themselves into risks, including environmental, criminal, terrorist, and accidental. This will include the threat posed by fire which, as the damage to Notre-Dame Cathedral has proven, remains one of the biggest threats.

Operational Best Practices: Bringing together subject matter experts from the fields of heritage, security, curatorship, and other specialisms to share the best practices that support the management and reduction of threats and risks.

Security Support Services: Focusing on services that support the protection of arts and antiquities including insurance, art recovery, logistics, and investigative services. Experts discuss in detail the importance of the support provided to the sectors. 

Speakers Sponsors and Supporters Accommodation and Travel Information Local Attractions