Programme Outline

Programme Outline

Due to the quality of the submissions from across the world, and the ever-changing threats that impact the arts and cultural heritage communities, the Organising Committee have retained a degree of flexibility in the programme to allow for some changes to be made if it was felt to be beneficial for the delegates. However, the theme will remain the same. 

Day One

Understanding the Threats - Impact of Conflict: During this educational session the delegates will understand the different ways that conflict has directly, and indirectly, impacted cultural venues and the protection of cultural heritage. It will examine the local, national, and international consequences of conflict and consider ways of reducing them.

Understanding the Threats - Cancelling History: This presentation identifies that there is an increasing trend where historical monuments and venues are being removed or become a focus for protests. The problem is global in reach and this presentation examines one specific area, that of the impact of 'anti-Soviet' activities (not Russian but the old Soviet Union) that are taking place in eastern Europe and the potential consequences.

Understanding the Threats - Art Trafficking and Looting: This is a major problem that affects national and international art and cultural heritage and is closely associated with places impacted by conflict. This presentation will provide an understanding of the scale of the problem and the steps that can be taken to reduce the risks posed from a governmental perspective.

Understanding the Threats - Organised Crime: Organised crime groups are actively involved in the targeting and attacking of cultural venues globally. They plan their attacks and use surveillance, both human and electronic, to obtain information that increases their likelihood of success. This session uses case studies to help the delegates understand that the threat is much closer and more active than they think and ways they can detect and prevent attacks from occurring.

Understanding the Threats - Terrorism: Many museums are viewed as ‘crowded places’ that a terrorist would find attractive and potentially a ‘soft target’. This session will examine the risk posed by terrorism to cultural venues and steps that can and should be taken to minimise the risks posed.

Networking Event: This event allows the delegates to mix with their peers and the panel of experts that have been brought together in a relaxed environment that encourages information sharing and collaboration.

Day Two

Understanding the Threats - Insider Threat: This session identifies how the threat posed by an insider can have a devastating effect on the protection of art and exhibits within cultural venues. It examines direct and indirect insider threats and proactive steps that can be implemented to reduce the likelihood of a successful insider attack.

Understanding the Threats - Fire: Fire continues to pose the greatest threat to cultural venues globally. Tragic events throughout history highlight the damage and destruction caused by fires at cultural venues, whether deliberate or accidental. This session, presented by one of the world’s leading experts in fire risk management, will outline the dangers fire poses to cultural heritage venues and ways in which the risks can be proactively addressed.

Understanding the Threats - Environmental Threats: Not all threats are adversarial in nature and often the environmental conditions can pose a far greater risk to the protection of artefacts. This session outlines some of the different environmental threats that can impact artefacts and the protective steps that can be considered to reduce the risks they present.

Understanding the Threats - Protesters: Less than 18 months ago nobody expected cultural venues to be targeted by protestors or the damage and impact that they bring. This session will demonstrate that protests in art and cultural venues are nothing new but there are steps that all can take to reduce their impact and protect the artefacts on display, visitors and staff, and organisational reputations.

Understanding the Threats - Cyber Threats: Not a threat that is normally associated with art and cultural venues, but cyber threats are very real and can impact operations, conditioning, and a venue’s reputation. This session uses a case study of an actual cyber attack against a cultural venue in the United Kingdom the impact it had on operations, the financial costs to the venue, and steps that should be considered to reduce the risk faced.

Proactive Practices - Risk Assessing: The importance of risk assessing within any organisation cannot be overstated. Guidance in the United Kingdom for Museum Accreditation outlines the need for assessing risks, as does best international practices. This session provides a case study outlining the importance of risk assessments for the protection of historical and cultural venues in the Middle East.

Proactive Practices - Creating Defence in Depth: The military has long advocated the need to establish ‘defence in depth’ as a means to create effective protective security. This session will outline the different layered approaches that can be taken to increase robustness and resilience and thereby afford greater protection to assets and artefacts within cultural venues.

Gala Dinner: The Gala Dinner is a ticketed event that is seeking to raise funds for cultural venues in Ukraine that have been affected by the current war with Russia. It seeks to raise funds through a ‘Protective – Art Auction’ and other avenues that can be used to stabilise and protect those artefacts that had to be moved to other parts of Ukraine before the onset of Winter 2023. Further details will be announced.

Day Three

Proactive Practices - Operational Security: This session is delivered by a Head of Security from a National Museum in the United Kingdom. They will outline the operational security issues that exist and discuss the need for proactive planning to reduce the risks as low as possible. As we are faced with political, environmental, and social issues and problems the need for effective operational security cannot be overstated.

Proactive Practices - Secure Transportation: As the global marketplace for art and cultural heritage reduces there is a greater need to ensure that secure transportation is provided. This session outlines professional security planning activities that need to be considered when transporting through the use of a case study involving the secure transportation of an international consignment across multiple continents.

Proactive Practices - Training and Education: This session provides an understanding of the need for training and education for all staff within cultural venues and the benefits that this can bring. It identifies misconceptions and gaps that can increase the vulnerability of a venue or piece of art and how education and training can proactively support the overall protective layers of security provided.

Proactive Practices - System Integration: Technical security systems play an important part in the protective programme of any venue and work alongside physical, operational, and educational security measures. However, technical systems are not effective if considered in isolation. This session outlines how effectiveness can be maximised if systems are integrated and work collaboratively.

Optional Visits to Local Venues:

The Organisation Committee is working collaboratively with local venues and organisations to ensure that delegates to the Conference have an opportunity to experience some of the fantastic art and cultural heritage sites the region has to offer.

We are seeking to negotiate reduced rates, private showings, and even arrange transportation during the afternoon of the third day so that it is not just a learning experience that delegates can take away from the Conference but also a piece of local heritage. Further details will be announced as agreements are reached.