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What makes a museum secure?

An article written by  and mentioned by Elena Vozmediano.


In 2013 I became the moderator of the Museum Security Network after its founder, Ton Cremers, the former Head of Security at the Rijksmuseum, retired. With the help of our correspondents in the USA and Africa, I review articles, press reports, and intelligence on museum security issues and circulate them to our members every day. Since I took over the role there hasn’t been a single day when there were no museum security issues on which to report; it often takes several hours to go through the last 24 hours’ worth of information on acts of vandalism, theft, and damage. But while Hollywood conveys the impression that museums need be afraid of only acrobatic millionaires and art-collecting Doctor No-style super villains, the reality is rather different and considerably less glamorous.

What then do we mean by ‘museum security’? This increasingly all-encompassing term essentially refers to the protection of cultural and historical artefacts and the publicly accessible sites that house them. While the number of security threats appears to be growing, museums face the difficult task of addressing these concerns on tight budgets and without making themselves significantly less accessible to visitors, or less enjoyable.

In order to mitigate and, wherever possible, prevent the various risks that may befall a museum, its collection, staff or visitors, modern-day museum security requires an adaptable, multilayered approach. This frequently involves the use of specialist technology and software in combination with specially trained security guards, and experienced gallery assistants. Museums, guided by industry standards and recommendations, are advised to carry out carefully considered and regularly updated risk assessments to ensure that they have adequate and proportionate security measures in place. Without this, security can suffer and institutions may struggle to meet key insurance requirements and be unable to secure high-profile loans for exhibitions.

When people ask me about the role of the Network, the question that crops up more than any other is: ‘Why does museum security matter?’ Fundamentally, it matters for the same reasons that museums matter: they educate and engage the public, promote our own cultural heritage and communities, and inform us about the history of other cultures in the world. In the UK we are lucky to have access to some of the greatest collections and institutions in the world and that such access is free. Over time, museums have also become great collecting houses – the ‘end user’ for objects that were commissioned, created, and bought and sold privately for centuries before finally going on permanent, public display. If you believe that these institutions and the artefacts they hold are important, it follows that you would also value the protection and preservation of such collections and our access to them. So what exactly is it that we need to protect museums from?

Terrorist attacks at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in 2014 and at the Bardo Museum in Tunisia in 2015 left over 20 visitors and tourists dead, with dozens injured. It was therefore understandable when, in the immediate aftermath of the November Paris attacks, the Louvre and other important cultural sites were closed for several days before reopening with enhanced security measures. The destruction and looting of cultural sites in Mali, Syria, and Iraq (among others) has involved frequent attacks on museums by terrorist organisations intent on wiping out the cultural heritage and history of their alleged enemies. This has led to international outrage and condemnation from organisations such as UNESCO, as well as a general increase in security at museums worldwide. But while high-profile attacks attract significant press attention and understandably result in the review of security procedures at major national institutions, there are more commonplace risks to museum security, which need to be considered just as carefully.

As public spaces, museums derive significant revenue from their visitors, whether from entrance fees, special exhibitions, or purchases from the café and shop. Creating a safe, welcoming, and open environment, which encourages people to visit repeatedly, is therefore of primary concern. But ‘open access’ has to be carefully balanced with museum security. Ideally, the latter should be subtle, but ever present. Anyone who has visited the Louvre and stood in front of the Mona Lisa may be surprised at the amount of security surrounding the painting and the distance at which viewers are kept, despite its protective casing. However, when you consider that this priceless painting has been stolen, damaged in an acid attack, had a rock thrown at it, and a cup of tea poured over its case, it is perhaps more surprising that the Louvre has the work on public display at all, and that over eight million visitors a year admire Leonardo’s masterpiece.
Most institutions carry out regular risk assessments based on the importance and type of each exhibit, its location in the building, and how physically accessible it is when the museum is open, and when it is closed. They also need to take into account any recent trends or intelligence that may suggest that an item is more likely to be damaged, stolen, or attacked. Artefacts are then divided into security groups, from high- to low-risk, and the categories internally monitored to reflect changes in their status.

In 2011, museums and auction houses across the UK and Europe were warned to step up security for any rhino horns in their holdings and to remove them from public display where possible, and even to take images of them down from their websites. (The Natural History Museum in London replaced its rhino horns with fakes.) The warning came after over 20 thefts of horns and skulls by what was believed to be an organised criminal gang seeking to profit from the value of powdered rhino horn (twice the price of gold at the time) in the Chinese medicinal market.

In April 2012, the Oriental Museum in Durham and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge both had several pieces of valuable Chinese jade stolen in night-time raids. Later that same month, staff at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath who had been briefed on the increased risks to their collection, were able to prevent an attempted theft by getting to a secure location and alerting the police after thieves forced their way in to the museum during opening hours.

While museum security has increasingly moved away from depending on guards sitting in a specified spot to supervise an exhibit and its visitors, well-trained staff remain integral to the safety and security of cultural institutions. Now that visitor experience and engagement is more actively encouraged, security guards and gallery assistants are even better placed to identify and deter potentially problematic or criminal behaviour at the earliest stage; high-specification CCTV security systems and gallery control-rooms are only as effective as the staff monitoring and managing them. Regular maintenance of security systems and staff revision of security protocols in light of any temporary issues is also extremely important. In 2010, a lone thief broke in to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris at night, leaving with works by Matisse, Picasso, Léger, Braque, and Modigliani. Although the individual had been caught on the museum’s CCTV, the alarm had been malfunctioning for over a month and failed to go off. As a result the guards didn’t notice the broken window or the bare walls until long after the thief had left.

The careful placement and training of staff can also be extremely useful in combatting opportunistic thefts. For example, the recent thefts of Renaissance coins from the National Museum of Scotland and Roman coins from Chelmsford Museum took place during opening hours, but were not immediately noticed by staff.

Since museums are frequently housed in older buildings or those not designed with security in mind, it is important to consider the lines of sight available to personnel on the ground, and to CCTV cameras (where installed). If staff need to move around to oversee multiple areas, consideration should also be given to the amount of time this may leave certain areas out of view. It is for this reason that museums seeking to redesign their storage and exhibition spaces are increasingly looking for architects familiar with security concerns. Ground-floor access to key exhibits may be popular with visitors and glass-sided buildings may look impressive, but these factors should be weighed up against security and insurance concerns.

When museums carry out risk assessments and security audits, they should always ask themselves how many layers of security need to exist between the object and someone who may wish to harm or steal it. Picture alarms and bullet-proof glass protect exhibits from some risks, but not others. Staff who are trained in how to monitor and respond to threats also need to know what to do after a breach has occurred. The protocols and extensive in-house security departments at larger museums may be well equipped to deal with thefts and acts of vandalism, but smaller institutions, and the volunteers they rely upon, are often less familiar with how to identify and preserve a crime scene, collate, and circulate key details – and of how important it is to notify senior management or law enforcement as soon as possible without fear of being blamed.

The threats to museum security are unfortunately a far cry from what The Thomas Crown Affair would have us believe.  The work may not sound exciting and security resources are often among the first hit by museum budget cuts. However, despite the myriad risks posed, and the difficult balancing act involved in meeting the expectations of visitors and management, the dedicated individuals and volunteers who work in museum security still have one crucial purpose, which is to protect the past for the benefit of everyone.

Por favor, toque la pantalla mientras mira este vídeo (Please keep touching the screen while you watch)

Golden Touch (from New Album「_genic」)
Please keep touching the screen while you watch. Best viewed on full screen mode.

El vídeo, dirigido por Masashi Kawamura, se estrenó en YouTube a finales de mayo y supera los siete millones de reproducciones. El truco no es nuevo: Put your finger here.

Jan Rothuizen dibuja una visita al museo Boijmans Van Beuningen

Why is it so quiet here? de Jan Rothuizen.

Jan Rothuizen draws a visit to the museum.
Why is it so quiet here? takes you on a visit to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen through the eyes and thoughts of the artist Jan Rothuizen. Jan Rothuizen is a draughtsman. He is famous for his drawings in the daily newspaper De Volkskrant and elsewhere, in which he records his detailed observations of a particular place in words and images. Why is it so quiet here? is his first animated film.

The Decapitation of Margaret Thatcher, the Statue

Sobre la escultura de Margaret Thatcher realizada por el artista Neil Simmons y su decapitación cometida en 2002 por el productor de teatro Paul Kelleher.

En relación al entierro de Margaret Thatcher, ocurrido el día de hoy 17 de Abril.

Fuente original en Hyperallergic, por  Hrag Vartanian.

What looks like the scar of the 2002 attack is still visible after the repair.

When I was in London last January, I had the chance to visit a hidden gem — well, depending on how you define “gem” — of a sculpture in the Guildhall Art Gallery in central London. Neil Simmons’ marble likeness of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has a very pretentious (as you might expect) name, “Rt. Hon. The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, L.G., O.M., F.R.S.” (2001), and it sits in the corner of this small art museum with an excellent collection of Pre-Raphaelite painting.

Why such an important — if controversial figure — in contemporary Britain would be tucked into the corner of the city’s official art gallery is an interesting story, as it wasn’t always the case.

On July 3, 2002, theater producer Paul Kelleher, at the time 37, decapitated the eight-foot marble statue of the former British Prime Minister, which was once more prominently displayed at the Guildhall Art Gallery. He swung at the statue with a cricket bat concealed in his trousers, then used one of the “heavy metal poles that are used to support the rope cordon” to decapitate the statue. After the beheading, he waited for the police to arrive.

Afterwards, Kelleher explained his crime:

“I haven’t really hurt anybody, it’s just a statue, an idol we seem to be worshipping to a greater extent.” He later explained his defence involved his “artistic expression and my right to interact with this broken world.”

He was eventually convicted of criminal damage and sentenced to three months in jail.

Sculptor Neil Simmons told the BBC at the time he was “deeply saddened” by the damage, while Thatcher said nothing and released no official statements.

After the incident the museum repaired the damage, moved the statue to the corner, and encased it in glass. There it sits, away from the spotlight.

Neil Simmons, “Rt. Hon. The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven, L.G., O.M., F.R.S.” (2001) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

It’s worth mentioning that the now infamous sculpture was judged “too domineering” by the National Portrait Gallery in London, which refused the work before it was finally placed at Guildhall, and it’s not the only official statue of Baroness Thatcher — another one is housed in the Houses of Parliament.

Now, after yesterday’s death of the Iron Lady, there are calls by some people in the UK — most British conservatives and military officers — to erect a new statue to Thatcher on thefourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. This is the same plinth that has been used as a site for temporary contemporary art installation since 1998. The fourth plinth was originally intended as the pedestal for a statue of William IV, but lack of funding left it empty for over a century before contemporary art lovers got a hold of it.

Will the UK decide to forgo a great contemporary art site that has featured work by Marc Quinn, Antony Gormley, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, and others for a monument to British conservatism? Whatever the decision, I think it will be very telling.

Dos videos del MoMA sobre Fluxkit

Alison Knowles discusses the Fluxkit.
During the course of the exhibition, the display of Fluxkits-collective groupings of Fluxus Editions assembled by George Maciunas-will change. Artists-some who were original members of Fluxus-have been invited to select objects from the kits and determine their arrangement.
© 2011 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

«A Personal History of Curation», Pope.L | Thing/Thought: Fluxus Editions, 1962-1978, at MoMA. Narrative involving the Fluxkit, created by Pope.L.
Filmed on December 13, 2011, in conjunction with the exhibition Thing/Thought: Fluxus Editions, 1962-1978
On view at MoMA September 21, 2011-January 16, 2012
Thanks to David Hart, Dan Phiffer, Gretchen Wagner, the artist’s sister and her husband Jim, Jim Calder, Jim Pruznick, Jim Jeffers, Tati and Mitchell-Innes and Nash, New York

La incredulidad de santo Tomás Apóstol

Cuenta San Juan (Jn. 11,16) «Tomás, llamado Dídimo, dijo a los demás: Vayamos también nosotros y muramos con Él».

La segunda intervención: sucedió en la Última Cena. Jesús les dijo a los apóstoles: «A dónde Yo voy, ya sabéis el camino». Y Tomás le respondió: «Señor: no sabemos a dónde vas, ¿cómo podemos saber el camino?» (Jn. 14, 15). Los apóstoles no lograban entender el camino por el cual debía transitar Jesús, porque ese camino era el de la Cruz. En ese momento ellos eran incapaces de comprender esto tan doloroso. Y entre los apóstoles había uno que jamás podía decir que entendía algo que no lograba comprender. Ese hombre era Tomás. Era demasiado sincero, y tomaba las cosas muy en serio, para decir externamente aquello que su interior no aceptaba. Tenía que estar seguro. De manera que le expresó a Jesús sus dudas y su incapacidad para entender aquello que Él les estaba diciendo.
Y lo maravilloso es que la pregunta de un hombre que dudaba obtuvo una de las respuestas más formidables del Hijo de Dios. Uno de las más importantes afirmaciones que hizo Jesús en toda su vida. Nadie en la religión debe avergonzarse de preguntar y buscar respuestas acerca de aquello que no entiende, porque hay una verdad sorprendente y bendita: todo el que busca encuentra.

Le dijo Jesús: «Yo soy el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida. Nadie va al Padre sino por mí»

En sus viajes por el desierto sabían muy bien que si equivocaban el camino estaban irremediablemente perdidos, pero que si lograban viajar por el camino seguro, llegarían a su destino. Pero Jesús no sólo anuncia que les mostrará a sus discípulos cuál es el camino a seguir, sino que declara que Él mismo es el Camino, la Verdad y la Vida.
Los creyentes recordamos siempre al apóstol Santo Tomás por su famosa duda acerca de Jesús resucitado y su admirable profesión de fe cuando vio a Cristo glorioso.
Dice San Juan (Jn. 20, 24) «En la primera aparición de Jesús resucitado a sus apóstoles no estaba con ellos Tomás. Los discípulos le decían: «Hemos visto al Señor». Él les contestó: «si no veo en sus manos los agujeros de los clavos y si no meto mis dedos en los agujeros de sus clavos, y no meto mi mano en la herida de su costado, no creeré». Ocho días después estaban los discípulos reunidos y Tomás con ellos. Se presentó Jesús y dijo a Tomás: «Acerca tu dedo: aquí tienes mis manos. Trae tu mano y métela en la herida de mi costado, y no seas incrédulo sino creyente». Tomás le contestó: «Señor mío y Dios mío». Jesús le dijo: «Has creído porque me has visto. Dichosos los que creen sin ver».
Parece que Tomás era pesimista por naturaleza. No le cabía la menor duda de que amaba a Jesús y se sentía muy apesadumbrado por su pasión y muerte. Quizás porque quería sufrir a solas la inmensa pena que experimentaba por la muerte de su amigo, se había retirado por un poco de tiempo del grupo. De manera que cuando Jesús se apareció la primera vez, Tomás no estaba con los demás apóstoles. Y cuando los otros le contaron que el Señor había resucitado, aquella noticia le pareció demasiado hermosa para que fuera cierta.

Tomás cometió un error al apartarse del grupo. Nadie está peor informado que el que está ausente. Separarse del grupo de los creyentes es exponerse a graves fallas y dudas de fe. Pero él tenía una gran cualidad: se negaba a creer sin más ni más, sin estar convencido, y a decir que sí creía, lo que en realidad no creía. El no apagaba las dudas diciendo que no quería tratar de ese tema. No, nunca iba a recitar el credo un loro. No era de esos que repiten maquinalmente lo que jamás han pensado y en lo que no creen. Quería estar seguro de su fe.

Preciosas dudas de Tomás que obtuvieron de Jesús aquella bella noticia: «Dichosos serán los que crean sin ver».


San Agustín comenta: Tomás «veía y tocaba al hombre, pero confesaba su fe en Dios, a quien ni veía ni tocaba. Pero lo que veía y tocaba lo llevaba a creer en lo que hasta entonces había dudado» (San Juan. 121, 5). El evangelista prosigue con una última frase de Jesús dirigida a Tomás: «Porque me has visto has creído. Bienaventurados los que crean sin haber visto» (Jn 20, 29).

Nudists Welcome to Tour ‘Nude Men’, an Art Exhibition in Vienna’s Leopold Museum after Covers Up the Exhibition Posters because of Outcry

Después de subir esta entrada, vuelvo a reescribirla al saber de la polémica desatada en Vienna en relación a la exposición que aquí nos ocupa. Y es que no hay nada como unos cuantos desnudos (si son masculinos, mejor) para calibrar de qué pasta general está hecha nuestra sociedad. Mientras la primera reacción a esta exposición fue la demanda para tapar los carteles colgados en la calle y la obra situada en la entrada del museo, un grupo alemán de nudistas solicitó una visita sin ropa al museo que se llevará a cabo próximamente. La muestra, que se ha dedicado exclusivamente al hombre teniendo en cuenta que en las anteriores muestras sobre el desnudo abundaron los femeninos (sic), fue inaugurada en el 19 de otubre del 2012 y ha sido prorrogada hasta el 4 de marzo.

Fuentes de las noticias: Los Angeles Times, Hindustan Times, Huffpost y Dailymail

Controversy: Promotional images such as Ilse Haider's nude portrait 'Mr Big' have provoked complaints from Viennese residents - although some locals seem to be unmoved by the furore

Controversy: Promotional images such as Ilse Haider’s nude portrait ‘Mr Big’ have provoked complaints from Viennese residents – although some locals seem to be unmoved by the furore

Por cierto, no os perdáis cómo la premsa ha ido retrando a «Mr. Big» jugando con la posición de los espectadores, entre otros trucos disimulatorios…

Foto publicada en The Guardian Post

Foto publicada en The Guardian Post

Foto de UK Reuters

Foto de UK Reuters

Nudists welcome to tour ‘Nude Men’ art exhibition in Vienna

Vienna’s Leopold Museum will welcome naked viewers from the public in an after-hours showing of its controversial and popular exhibit «Naked Men», a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The Leopold, known for its unrivalled collection of works by Austrian artist Egon Schiele, was inspired to invite the public to get naked after an inquiry from a group of German nudists.

«There was a request by an association from Germany for a nude guided tour,» the spokesman said. «We thought about it, and decided it would be a good idea to have a special nude viewing open to the public.»

But he dissuaded any members of the public from dropping by just to gawk at the visiting nudists.

«If you are not a nudist you are welcome to come clothed. But we don’t want voyeurs so it’s better not to be clothed.»

The exhibition, which has been extended to run until March 4, is designed to show the diverse and changing depictions of male nudity in art history.

Among its exhibits is a grotesque self-portrait by Schiele, and a photograph called «Vive La France» of three men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer boots.

Together with a special exhibition to commemorate the 150th birthday of Viennese painter Gustav Klimt, «Naked Men» helped boost visitor numbers at the Leopold by 17 percent to more than 364,000 last year.

«We noticed a large increase in young people attending the museum, about 10 percent more,» said the spokesman. «Having both «Naked Men» and «Klimt: Up Close and Personal» brought a lot of people in this past year.»

A German museum-goer was even inspired to imitate the art and strip naked while walking around the exhibition in December. Visitors appeared undisturbed, assuming he belonged to the show.

However, «Naked Men» has caused controversy among more conservative elements of Austrian society.

In October, the Leopold bowed to pressure and covered up the genitalia of the three nude male soccer players used on large publicity posters around the city after they caused outrage among parents and religious groups.

«Their reaction is not a part of liberal thinking in the 21st century,» the spokesman said.

«This is an unprecedented exhibition of male nudity here in Austria, something no other country has done,» he added. «Hopefully it will be replicated around the world.»

A visitor looks at the painting ''Male Torso'' by French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres during a preview of the art exhibition 'Nude Men' at the Leopold museum in Vienna. Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

A visitor looks at the painting »Male Torso» by French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres during a preview of the art exhibition ‘Nude Men’ at the Leopold museum in Vienna. Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

Unfortunately it seems that Leopold Museum won’t be the first museum to hold nude art tours. Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney held clothing-free tours last year as a way to bring visitors closer to the art and help them gain a new perspective on the museum experience.

‘Nude Men’ art exhibition in Austria sparks conversation

An art exhibition in Vienna titled «Nude Men» — «Nackte Manner» in German — is stimulating considerable media attention in Austria. The show, which opens this week at the Leopold Museum, is dedicated to depictions of male nudity from the 19th century to the present day, and includes paintings, sculpture, photographs and more. But the decision to advertise the show with giant versions of some of the works that will go on display has proved controversial. ‘We got many, many complaints,’ Klaus Pokorny, a spokesman for the museum says.

The Leopold Museum is offering some of the artwork on its website. (Please note the images may be offensive for some readers.) On its exterior wall, the museum has put up a full-frontal image of a naked man created by Austrian artist Ilse Haider, «Mr. Big.» It has been drawing crowds. The museum has now decided to cover the ‘intimate parts’ of the images – and the exhibition will go ahead as planned later this week.

One of the items in the museum show has already proved controversial. A photograph by the French duo known as Pierre et Gilles shows three soccer players of different racial backgrounds naked but for blue, red or white socks, and football boots. The museum has been using the photograph in its advertising campaign, including posters around Vienna.

Reuters reported Wednesday the museum has decided to censor the photograph in certain ads after a number of complaints. The censored image will feature a red rectangle concealing the soccer players’ genitalia.

The museum’s catalog for the exhibition features the uncensored version of the photograph on its cover.

A further sampling of the exhibition: a phallic sculpture by Louise Bourgeois titled «Fillette (Sweeter Version)»; a Bruce Nauman drawing depicting the outlines of five naked men called «Untitled (Five Marching Men)» and Andy Warhol’s poster artwork for the Fassbinder movie «Querelle.»

‘Many people told us that they wanted to, or had to, protect their children,’ Mr Pokorny continued. ‘Some had warned that “if we won’t cover it, they would go there with a brush and they would cover it with colour.” Already somebody did that.’

Despite the provocative nature of the images, the museum has been surprised by the reaction to the posters.

‘We are not really happy about the situation,’ Mr Pokorny added. ‘You always hope that we have made progress, that we are now in the 20th century.’

A statement on the museum website explains that the exhibition offers revolutionary perspective on the human body.

Original work used for the poster

Original work used for the poster

A poster in Vienna advertising for the exhibition that has already been covered (Ronald Zak / Associated Press)

A poster in Vienna advertising for the exhibition that has already been covered (Ronald Zak / Associated Press)

‘Previous exhibitions on the theme of nudity have mostly been limited to female nudes,’ it reads. ‘Thanks to loans from all over Europe, the exhibition “Naked Men” will offer an unprecedented overview of the depiction of male nudes.’

It also describes the show as ‘a long overdue exhibition on the diverse and changing depictions of naked men.’

Exhibits will also include what might be deemed more ‘acceptable’ versions of male nudity, such as paintings on Greek vases and works from the Renaissance.

Located in the famous Museumsquartier (Museum Quarter) of the Austrian capital, the Leopold Museum also features works by some of the country’s major modern artists – including 20th century icons Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt.

Monumento a Victor Noir en París

Victor Noir (27 de julio de 1848 en Attigny (Vosgos) – 11 de enero de 1870 en París), fue un periodista francés famoso por la forma en que murió y sus consecuencias políticas. Su tumba en el Cementerio Père Lachaise en París se convirtió con el tiempo en un símbolo de fertilidad.


Una estatua de bronce de tamaño natural fue esculpida por Jules Dalou para marcar su tumba, en estilo realista, como si hubiera caído en la calle, dejando caer su sombrero (que se representa a su lado). La escultura tiene una protuberancia notable en sus pantalones, y esto ha sido causa de se convirtiera en uno de los monumentos más populares para las mujeres que visitan el famoso cementerio. El mito dice que colocando una flor en el sombrero hacia arriba tras besar la estatua en los labios y rozar su área genital pueden aumentar la fertilidad, ayudar a llevar una vida sexual feliz, o, en algunas versiones, conseguir un marido en un año. Como resultado de la leyenda, los componentes particulares de la estatua de bronce oxidado está bastante desgastado.


Suivant la technique courante à l’époque, Dalou modèle d’abord la figure nue avant de l’habiller, dotant en l’occurrence son œuvre d’une virilité évidente. Ce réalisme anatomique entraîne certaines personnes superstitieuses à toucher le gisant depuis des années, d’où une oxydation disparue de la patine et une érosion du bronze sur le relief du visage, l’impact de balle, la partie virile et les chaussures, que présente la statue de nos jours. Un folklore veut en effet que les femmes en mal d’enfants touchent le gisant afin d’être rendues fertiles. C’est surtout par cette tradition, toujours en vogue, qu’est connue la sépulture de Victor Noir.

Le modèle en plâtre est exposé en 1890 au salon de la Société nationale des beaux-arts (no 1255), et le gisant a été inauguré au Père-Lachaise le 15 juillet 1891.


Un caso más reciente con un Adán de Botero en Nueva York.

Fuente: The NY Times.

Most of Adam is a deep dark brown; his penis, though, is worn golden from extensive handling.

This is a maintenance issue at the mall. “We have an art dealer that comes in and redoes the patina from time to time,” said David Froelke, the center’s general manager, “but it doesn’t last very long.”

POSDATA: Al hilo de esta entrada, Guillermo Trujillano nos hace llegar estas dos imágenes de París.

A la Capilla Sixtina se entrará con ropa y calzado desempolvado para una mejor conservación

Fuente: Pú

El polvo amenaza la conservación de los frescos de la Capilla Sixtina. Debido a la excesiva afluencia de visitantes y la contaminación ambiental:

El director de los Museos Vaticanos, Antonio Paolucci, muestra su preocupación por la conservación de los frescos de la Capilla Sixtina debido al excesivo número de visitantes y a la falta de instalaciones adecuadas para eliminar la contaminación ambiental.


Fuente: 20 minutos.
A la Capilla Sixtina se entrará con ropa y calzado desempolvado para una mejor conservación.

La Capilla Sixtina requiere rebajar la temperatura de la sala, por lo que los visitantes verán como se limpia la suela de sus zapatos y se desempolva su ropa.


El director explicó que pretende cubrir los primeros cien metros de la entrada con una especie de alfombra que limpie los zapatos, además se quiere instalar unos agujeros en el recorrido que aspirarían el polvo de los vestidos rebajando el calor y la humedad corporal. Y es que el polvo, la temperatura, la humedad y el anhídrido carbónico son los grandes enemigos de los frescos.



Visita virtual a la Capilla Sixtina.

I went to MoMA… (He ido al MoMA)

Debate: Museums are bad at telling us why art matters

Los museos fracasan en la tarea de explicar por qué el arte importa.
Debate organizado por la Galería Saatchi – Intelligence Squared debate at the Saatchi Gallery, 21 June 2011.

Con Alain de Botton, Matthew Taylor, Chris Dercon y Matthew Collins, entre otros.
Aquí hay algunos momentos del debate subtitulados al castellano:

Más debates organizados por la galería, aquí:

Bernard Stiegler, Del amateur al contribuidor (I+C+i 2009, CCCB)

Bernard Stiegler, director del Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation, habla de cómo las tecnologías colaborativas pueden hacer renacer en el mundo de la cultura una figura que desempeñaba un papel esencial en la vida intelectual y artística antes de la aparición de las industrias culturales: el amateur.

I+C+i 2009 // ENTREVISTA // Bernard Stiegler (VO Fr) from CCCB on Vimeo.

Entrevista grabada el 6-2-2009.

I+C+i es un ciclo que desde 2007 aborda la integración de la investigación, el desarrollo y la innovación en el ámbito de la cultura, reflexionando, anticipando y debatiendo sobre cuestiones clave. Proyecto dirigido por  Juan Insua.

Aquí pueden ver extractos de la conferencia: Bernard Stiegler (IRI – Centre Georges Pompidou) – Conferencia en I+C+I  (CCCB).

Soy Cámara: Colecciones y turismo

Este capítulo, producido por el CCCB y TVE, cuenta con la participación de Martin Parr, Manuel Delgado, Bernard Stiegler, Carles Guerra, Jorge Luis Marzo y Andrés Rábago, entre otros. Sobre la pulsión de ordenar y coleccionar el mundo, de poseerlo capturándolo en imágenes, recuerdos y pedacitos. El álbum y el museo reflejan una misma obsesión: definirse a través de capturas y fetiches, conquistas representadas a través de imágenes y objetos. Si al principio estas aventuras eran cosa de pocos, hoy viajar, coleccionar y exponer es cosa de masas.

soy cámara – el programa del cccb

Capítulo dirigido por Andrés Hispano y Félix Pérez-Hita.
Pueden verlo completo  AQUÍ.

El Arte Secreto (y no intencional) del tapado de grafitis

Grupo de Flickr: The secret art of Graffiti Removal.

Aquí pueden ver una selección en vídeo de tapados de grafitis del grupo de Flickr:

Y aquí otra selección de fotos de tapados de grafiti:

Página de la revista MAD: El arte moderno

Portada y página del primer número de la edición en español (enero 1975).
Documento encontrado por Andrés Hispano.

Patrimonio nacional (secuencia final), de Rafael Azcona y Luis García Berlanga (1981)

Patrimonio nacional  (1981) – secuencia final, de Rafael Azcona y Luis García Berlanga.

Acto surrealista (Ramón Gómez de la Serna: ISMOS, 1931)

Ramón Gómez de la Serna: ISMOS (1931). Madrid 1975, Guadarrama,  p. 296 y ss.

(Al final del capítulo sobre el surrealismo, escribe).

Como aclaración del suprarealismo, como explicación práctica de lo que no acaba de poderse definir bien como doctrina, voy a presentar un supuesto hijo surrealista:


Otro taxi le condujo al Museo Grévin.
Subió las escaleras del Museo del Silencio y la Cera, trémulo, entusiasta como si sonase una música de circo mientras ponía el pie en cada tramo.
No había nadie en aquel internado de los espectros solidificados. Su iconoclastia sentía un frenesí disparado, como si todos aquellos seres fuesen bolos para su deseo atentatorio.
Se sentía en el desván del mundo atosigado por aquellos tipos conocidos, cuyos trajes olían al polvo picante del desuso. Se veía lo pequeños que eran los grandes hombres cuando todos, al llegar allí, sólo tenían pensamiento de muñecos de cera.
Se dejaba tan solo al visitante porque todo allí es falso: coronas, pendientes, broches y hebillas.
Henri sentía la alegría de la impunidad, y le devolvían su sonrisa, convertida en hilaridad, todos aquellos rostros importantísimos e imponentes.
Iba eligiendo los más solemnes: San Luis, rey de Francia, Boileau, madame de Stael, Maria Estuardo, Luis XIV, Gambetta, el general Golard, Robespierre, Napoleón…
Volvió a perderse en la multitud de grandes hombres y grandes mujeres, que atestaban el saloncillo de la anteinmortalidad; con grandes precauciones, en rociada rápida, fue arrojando a sus rostros el líquido corrosivo. La fisonomía se fundía en una mancha blancuzca, y las facciones quedaban comidas por el cáncer mágico.
Napoleón se quedó como un jeroglífico con su sombrero proverbial y operado el rostro por completo.
Del encerado plástico iba borrando seres y más seres simbólicos. Sólo quedaban los ojos colganderos en sus rostros de rana.
Henri no se atrevió a ir más allá, porque podía encontrarse cortada la retirada por alguien que se diese cuenta de la desaparición de las caras más célebres, vitrioladas por el surrealista. Volvió sobre sus pasos admirado del fenómeno grotesco de aquella conversión en nadie de los seres célebres. Iba orgulloso de haber vengado estulticias coronadas o sólo renombradas.
Le exaltaba de palpitaciones su delito de veinte lesas majestades y de numerosos genicidios. Había borrado media historia de la Francia oligárquica y altanera.

musee-grevin, Paris



La opinión reaccionó contra aquel vergonzoso atentado, como si en un solo día se hubiera ofendido a todas las glorias nacionales. En todo el público, las entrañas coléricas -corazón, hígado y riñon- se habían estrujado, hechas una pelota de indignación.
Todos los periódicos atacaban al surrealismo, porque el atentado tenía la marca inconfundible de ese grupo pernicioso.
– Al campesino hay que darle enseñanza obligatoria de surrealismo… El que las ciudades de provincia sean tan aburridas es lo que crea el monstruo de las grandes capitales.
Por ahí cerca andaba el Museo de la Legión de Honor, que crispaba a los surrealistas más que ningún otro museo, pero Henri comprendía que era el Museo más salvaguardado de Francia. No podía ser objetivo de sus rebeldías, pero en cambio, en el mismo trecho, un poco más abajo, se le ofrecían aquellas puertas aprovechadas para escaparates de galardones oficiales. Poderosa tentación a su agresividad de salvador de la vida era el ver el anverso y el reverso de aquellos relieves vanos.
Sentía deseos de arrancar de todas las solapas las medallas que convierten en perruna a la humanidad, sintetizando en un recorte de oro la inmovilidad de los méritos o de las conmemoraciones.

Romería de San Bartolomé en Borja y seguridad para custodiar el Ecce Homo

Mientras esperamos a que pasen esos 15 días para se haga público el informe del eccehomo, para saber si sería posible revertir la restuaración de Cecilia y si van a proceder con ello, continuamos con el hilo anterior: Visitantes del Ecce Homo de la Iglesia de la Misericordia (Borja, Zaragoza) para colgar fotografías de la romería de San Bartolomé que tuvo lugar ayer. Esta festividad terminó en dicho santuario, donde muchos curiosos contemplaron la imagen del eccehomo que hubo de ser custodiada por vigilantes privados. Un vigilante permanecerá constante allí en tanto permanezca abierto el lugar.

Y para que en el transcurso de estos días no decaiga el interés suscitado, nos mantendrán suficientemente entretenidos con los resultados de dos concursos: uno internacional de pintura de temática religiosa, en torno a la figura del eccehomo en  todas las variantes y otro relacionado con la restauración religiosa «con el fin de fomentar este arte, para muchos hasta ahora desconocido»…

A ver cómo terminará el festín…

(Fotos de creps de chocolate y frambuesa hechos por una pastelería del Mercado de San Miguel de Madrid).

Se ha creado un Premio Cecilia de restauración. Para participar, ir aquí.

Obertura de «La Flauta Mágica» de W.A. Mozart (película dirigida por Ingmar Bergman, 1975).

La flauta mágica (1975). Título original: Trollflöjten.

No touching

On the Wall Next to Drew Heitzler’s OCMA Stack (detail) 2010
This is one of the problems inherent in today’s multiple modes of production. There were several «stacks» in the biennial, reminiscent of Felix Gonzalez-Torres‘ unlimited editions. Los Angeles Urban Rangers, David Wilson, and others and take aways and work you could touch. Eventually the viewer gets put off when he becomes frustrated by different expectations from art that is identical on a formal level.

From Leap into the void