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Plan to Withdraw Police From Russia’s Museums Sparks Fears

An announcement final week that Russian museums would no longer be guaranteed a police participation to protect their collections has sparked regard that informative institutions will not be means to afford to pay private confidence firms, and that unfamiliar museums could stop lending their inhabitant treasures to Russia over fears for their safety.

Federal military announced the news Wednesday, observant in a matter that it had been necessitated by budget cuts amid the shrinking economy that stirred a 10-percent rebate in police numbers.

The agency had to choose between slicing behind on policemen patrolling the streets and officers guarding buildings and facilities, the statement said. Policemen now ensure 135 museums in Moscow alone, Izvestia journal reported Thursday.

“The confidence of facilities that have to be rhythmical by police from stationary posts can be ensured by private and state-owned confidence firms,” the statement said.

But experts voiced doubt over the efficiency and affordability of such companies.

Select private confidence companies are able of protecting museums, though their fees are too high for most museums to afford their services, pronounced Sergei Sokolov, a security consultant and former conduct of security for the late Boris Berezovsky, who in the 1990s was one of Russia’s richest and most successful oligarchs.

“Most private confidence guards in Russia are toothless, while the competent ones employed by Gazprom or Rosneft [energy companies] assign a fortune,” Sokolov pronounced in a phone interview.

“Even if they lift firearms, they mostly won’t use them, or won’t use force at all, since they don’t know either they are authorised to by law,” he said.

Ultimate Authority

His doubts echoed comments done by Mikhail Piotrovsky, executive of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg — one of the world’s biggest museums — who told Ekho Moskvy radio hire this week that military officers are the only people who can “grab someone by the scruff of their neck and throw them out.”

“The thought [now] is that private confidence firms will strengthen museums. There was a private confidence organisation at the Manezh [exhibition core in Moscow, where Orthodox activists pounded an art vaunt progressing this month]. They have really singular rights. They only stood by and didn’t know what to do,” Piotrovsky pronounced Wednesday.

In a video of that conflict posted on YouTube, a stocky confidence ensure in a black fit creates no try to restrain the ultra-conservative attackers. As a result, 5 artworks were damaged. The incident finished when a police officer arrived at the scene.

Under Russian law, private confidence guards are authorised to use force to prevent a crime or  urge the property they are safeguarding if a perpetrator is regulating earthy force.

The Hermitage has had the possess sour knowledge with vandalism. In 1985, a Lithuanian male who was after found to have been pang from schizophrenia, threw sulphuric poison on one of the museum’s precious treasures — the Rembrandt portrayal “Danae.”

According to Piotrovsky, a policeman who attempted to protect the masterpiece postulated lifelong injuries himself.

“Even if we cut down on the police, we can’t cut down on the insurance of cultural institutions, since they enclose the many profitable treasures,” pronounced Piotrovsky.

Andrei Nelidov, executive of the Kizhi alfresco design museum in Karelia in northwest Russia, also pronounced military were some-more fit as a deterrent.

“A male in official uniform creates people some-more disciplined,” he said.

Nelidov, the former conduct of the commonwealth of Karelia, has used his executive knowledge and clout to retain a police participation at the Kizhi museum.

“We have private military posts from administrative buildings, though concluded with the local authorities that military will say a presence at the museum itself,” Nelidov pronounced in a phone interview.

The Russian supervision will accumulate a separate list of “facilities of special importance”  where policemen will sojourn on duty, the police matter said.

Foreign Fears

If unfamiliar museums know that military will not be safeguarding their artworks, they could turn demure to loan equipment from their collections to Russian institutions, pronounced Marina Loshak, executive of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.

“For museums it is critical to know that there will be people who can use force to protect their treasures,” Loshak pronounced in a phone interview.

“One of the consequences will be that the insurance premiums for works sent for temporary exhibits in Russia will go up,” she said.

Major museums in the U.K. and U.S. declined to reveal to The Moscow Times either their confidence procedures enclosed a police presence.

“Not deliberating or disclosing the detail of our confidence measures is an essential partial of those protecting measures,” Kate Morais, a spokeswoman for the British Museum in London, wrote in e-mailed comments Friday.

In addition to the new desolation at the Manezh, thefts from Russian museums are not unknown. In July, 3 paintings were stolen from the Tarusa gallery in the Kaluga segment south of Moscow — one any by the worshiped 19th-century Russian artists Ivan Aivazovsky and Vasily Polenov, and another by an unclear French artist. The paintings’ value was estimated at 7.5 million rubles ($110,000), the police pronounced in a matter at the time.

According to the statement, dual group wearing masks and sunglasses snuck into the gallery when it was sealed to visitors and threatened the executive and another worker with an object imitative a gun, before contracting them with fasten and making off with the paintings.

The paintings have now been recovered and the dual group detained, military reported Wednesday.

Contact the author at i.nechepurenko@imedia.ru

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/528461.html