The Korea Herald


Gwacheon art museum tightens storage security

By 김윤미

Published : May 3, 2011 - 18:53

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The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea said on Tuesday it will tighten security on its collections by doubling the checks at the door to the storage room and digitizing its collections database.

The announcement came after the Culture Ministry’s audit last week revealed that the museum had loopholes in managing artworks in storage.

“We will enhance the storage room’s security system by setting up a three-stage check-in at the door ― security card, finger print identification and password,” Park Young-dae, chairman of planning and management commission at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, said during a press conference at the Culture Ministry in Seoul.

“We will also make it compulsory for all artworks to be registered both on the handwritten log and the electronic database,“ he said.

The Culture Ministry conducted an audit of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea from March 14 to March 22. It said on April 28 that it had found that names of the visitors to the museum’s storage room were kept only in hand-written form.

The audit also found that the museum allegedly tried to cover up an incident in 2008 in which a pencil drawing by Joo Kyung in the storage room went missing.

At that time, the museum did not report the case to the police and hastily closed the case by sacking an employee, the ministry said.

Museum officials said the case is currently under investigation by police in Gwacheon.

The museum has recently finished establishing a new storage room.

Park said the museum will identify all collections both manually and automatically.

“On more than 6,600 pieces in 2006 and 2007, we attached identification chips to easily search for works. But we found it difficult to attach the chips to works that weren’t paintings, such as installations,” Park said.

“So, we’re trying to do it in a new way, be it chips or bar codes. We’ve established a new storage room this year and we will move all the artworks to the new room within the first half of the year,” he said.

By Kim Yoon-mi (