Expert Meeting
Museum Theft Response Plan
June 12-13 2011

Venue: Department of Antiquities, Amman, Jordan
Sultan Al- Atrash Street, N 21, Al- Radhwan , Zahran area

Background and Objectives

In light with the recent civil unrest in the Arab States, museum directors and museum security experts especially from Arab countries are invited to participate in a two-day workshop dedicated to a Museum Theft Response Plan. This workshop is organized under the framework of the Culture Programme funded by the European Commission: “Witness the Past: Education Programs for the Public and Culture Heritage Professionals on Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities”
International experts on museum security will present their approach to risk management and theft response plans, in order to foster co-ordinated actions to prevent theft, develop adequate response, and to promote effective recovery actions.
Strategic plans for museums to protect their collections against various kinds of risks based on clearly defined priorities in the case of fire, accidents, illegal activities, natural disasters, armed conflicts etc, such as the ICOM Handbook on Emergency Procedures or the Museum Emergency Plan (MEP) will be examined and evaluated critically.
It is directed specifically towards museum professionals responsible for security issues in museums and sites particularly from the Arab region and other interested parties. The meeting will be held in English and Arabic, with simultaneous translation in both languages to be provided and participants must register in order to attend. It will consist of lectures and round table discussions. The workshop’s goal is to publish in Arabic a poster-like theft response plan for museums, cultural institutions, and private collections.
Session Topics to be addressed

I. International agreements on the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property:
- UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property
- Role of ICOM’s Code of Professional Ethics in the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property.
- Other operational tools such as the Museum Emergency Plan (MEP), the ICOM Handbook on Emergency Procedures

II. Documentation and inventory tools for collections with emphasis on UNESCO’s guide to museum documentation system, Object-ID, harmonization of existing systems and development of a common system of identifying cultural property.
III. Security plans and response in case of theft:
- Training of museum personnel on security issues for museums.
- Establishing a network of stakeholders, ministries, law-enforcement agencies (e.g. police, customs), regional and global international organizations.
IV. Case studies of existing response plans developed and implemented in various parts of the world
V. Round Table Discussions on risk management and the theft response planning.

For more information please contact one of the Co-organisers of the project responsible for the event:

Dr. Vasilike Argyropoulos, Project Co-ordinator, TEI of Athens, bessie@teiath.gr
Prof. Dr. Stefan Simon, Director, Rathgen Research Laboratory – National Museums Berlin, Germany, s.simon @ smb.spk-berlin.de
Mr. Christian Manhart, Chief Section of Museums and Cultural Objects, UNESCO, c.manhart@unesco.org
Prof. Dr. Ziad al Sa’ad, Director-General, DOA Jordan, zalsaad@gmail.com


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