Museum Security Network


Within a year after Microsoft’s presentation of Windows 95, and the steady increase of the Internet, the Museum Security Network was launched.  December 2007 MSN is celebrating its 11th anniversary.  The main purpose of the site was to provide relevant links, articles, product information, plus a news service about incidents with cultural property. Thanks to modern day advanced search engines such as Google it is no longer needed to maintain links. At the moment the main activity is collecting and disseminating information. The recovery of stolen art is a side-effect. The MSN is a not for profit, and subscribing the mailing list is free. Some 1,500 subscribers from 85 countries have joined the mailing list. Subscribers are staff of organisations like ICOM, UNESCO, Interpol, FBI, Carabinieri, major auction houses, universities, government organisations, museums, libraries, archives, churches, national parks, plus dealers, collectors, and specialised policemen and journalists (and maybe also dubious dealers and collectors..).In the past ten years MSN has not only become a major source of information about the risks culture goods are faced with, but several times also has been instrumental in the recovery of stolen objects.The Internet made the world a lot smaller. Almost 70% of all recovered stolen culture goods are recovered in another country than where the theft took place. Thieves’ market is no longer limited to local fences, but nowadays they really have a global market. The number of data on the Internet runs in the billions. Thanks to sophisticated search engines it is becoming easier day by day to scan all those billions of data. This easy access is available for both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad guys’.

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