International Arts & Antiquities Security Forum
The International Arts & Antiquities Security Forum (IAASF) is a leading conference and exhibition dedicated to the protection of arts, antiquities and cultural heritage. Providing those involved in the protection and safe custody of buildings, artefacts and events with an understanding of existing and emerging threats that can impact them.
The inaugural IAASF was held in Newcastle upon Tyne, in the North East of England. Newcastle and the BALTIC Centre were specifically chosen because of the rich and diverse cultural heritage in the area and the fact that culture never dies; it changes and adapts much as the BALTIC and the whole South Tyneside regeneration programme has shown.
This years event is continuing the historical theme by being held in Westminster Cathedral’s historical hall, designed by renowned architect John Francis Bentley at the start of the 20th Century.
Culture, arts and antiquities provides millions of people around the world with pleasure and enjoyment whether as private owners, globally renowned museums or members of the public. Their value runs into the billions of dollars and as a market sector it directly employs tens of thousands of people; indirectly hundreds of thousands more.
Unfortunately because of their beauty and value, art and antiquities have always been seen as a commodity that is worth fighting over, stealing or destroying. Recent figures in the UK suggest that the cost of high value art thefts by organised crime gangs is second only to drugs dealing and is in the region of £350-480 million annually. The global value of crime against arts, antiquities and historical sites is believed to be far in excess of £10 billion annually.
These figures are staggering and can only be tackled by working together across the disciplines that make up the cultural, heritage, arts and antiquity communities; as well as law enforcement and governments.
The IAASF event was created to provide a forum where those involved in, or with a passion for the cultural, art or antiquities sectors can learn about the security threats and risks that exist but also sensible steps that can be taken to provide security and protection.
The IAASF provides a platform for people to network with counterparts from around the world, enjoy an excellent evening reception and learn from specialists who help protect these types of assets on a daily basis.
Who is the IAASF for?
The forum has been designed to meet the needs of all those involved in the protection of arts, antiquities and cultural heritage whether security professionals, operational teams, curators, archivists or police officers. Everybody who has an interest, either personal or professional, in protecting arts and antiquities will benefit from attending the forum and learning from each other.
“Protecting arts, antiquities and our heritage is important to ensure future generations can enjoy the pleasure they bring. I wish the IAASF all the very best in helping identify and reduce the risks that exist.”
– David Harper, TV personality and Antiques Expert