The security woes for the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris continue after it was discovered this week that Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Cadillac Moon 1981 (pictured at right),” which is currently on loan to the museum for its Basquiat retrospective exhibition, was defaced by a felt-tip pen. The Daily Mail’s Peter Allen reports that the museum does not know when the iconic work was defaced. According to Fabrice Hergott, the museum’s director and the Basquiat exhibition’s chief curator, “Cadillac Moon 1981” was “one of the best protected works in the exhibition. There is a permanent guard, as there is with all exhibitions, but we had a special reinforcement of guards for this one.” Evidently, there is a gap between the museum’s sense of security and the effectiveness of the measures it has implemented to secure its collection.
Individuals and institutions with works on loan to the museum must be eager for the safe return of their works of art. The art theft in May, which resulted from inadequate security, coupled with the recent act of vandalism, which involved a famous work on loan to the museum, will likely discourage future loans until the museum upgrades its current security and facilities assessments, and makes the necessary adjustments to better protect the museum’s contents.