New conference launched to tackle £300m annual art theft

A new conference addressing the impact of crime and theft in the arts and cultural sector is set to launch at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, NewcastleGateshead, on 11 November, 2016.

The International Arts & Antiquities Security Forum (IAASF) is a one-day conference which will see over 100 security and arts professionals gather to learn and discuss the protection of arts, culture and antiquities.

Sarah Thackray, director of Beacon House Events, who is organising the event, said: “The arts security conference market is still relatively untapped in the UK. We are delighted that we have such a wide range of international speakers represented in the programme for this inaugural event and we’ve received real interest from the market since launching.”

A BBC Five Live Investigates series in 2013 estimated art and antique theft in the UK to be worth £300m annually. Globally, the figure rises to more than £10bn.

Andy Davis, chair of IAASF and MD at Trident Manor, said: “The need for protecting global arts, antiquities, cultural sites and sites of historical relevance has never been greater.

“The forum and shared knowledge that it brings will help individuals and organisations understand and better manage these risks in a cost effective, sensible and practical manner – collectively allowing us to tackle these issues and reduce the cost of crime to the sector.”

Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “It is always a pleasure to see new conferences being launched in NewcastleGateshead. We have a thriving culture and art community and IAASF provides huge benefits to that community, not only through talks and discussions at the event but by also attracting expertise from outside of the region to share experiences and ideas.”

IAASF has announced that the speaking panel will include:

Michael Huijser Executive director of the Dutch National Maritime Museum and a government advisor to the Dutch Minister of Culture
Jim McGuffey ASIS Cultural Properties Council – Lead on Protecting Places of Worship
Dr Sam Hardy Archaeologist
Dr Nicholas Eastaugh Founder and chief scientist, Art Analysis and Research
Ricardo Sanz Marcos Member of the Cultural Heritage Council, ASIS International
Andy Davis Owner and MD, Trident Manor
Adrian Green Detective chief superintendent, Durham Constabulary
Annabel Fell-Clark former CEO of AXA Art
Dennis Ahearn Directory of security UK, Christie’s
Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard is the Deputy Editor at Conference News. Formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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