The Ministry of Culture issued an ambiguous statement about the theft at the Museum of Decorative Arts

National Museum of Decorative Arts Argentina

flight of ants National Museum of Decorative Arts has a new chapter. The National Culture Ministry issued a statement in which refuse a game of the letter of Martin Markdirector suspended for 90 days, which exclusively published Infobae Culture.

After the disappearance of 11 pieces from the space, the Cultural Portfolio and the National Directorate of Museums (DNM) decided to suspend Martín for 30 days, a period that was increased to 90 last week, a measure that the architect found it “disproportionate, unfair, prejudicial and unfounded”.

Moreover, in his letter, the suspended director opened the door to a much deeper subject: lack of security in national museums. Citing a series of examples from the past, he assured that the DNM and the Ministry of Culture know “the weakness in which the national museums find themselves” with regard to the absence of security cameras and other systems such such as alarms and motion detectors. .

“Between August and September 2021, at least 3 companies visited the MNAD with the intention of submitting to the tender for video surveillance and security systems. […] It is neither credible nor justifiable that, in the face of an event like this, it should be inferred that these matters are the sole responsibility of museum directors when there are dozens of people in dispute with the national ministry of culture appointed to control and frame these issues, suppliers and borrowing companies,” he wrote.

National Museum of Decorative Arts Argentina
National Museum of Decorative Arts Argentina

“The DNM was perfectly aware of the security situation at the MNAD and it was within its competence to make the necessary purchases and contracts to minimize the risks, as well as to establish security protocols in the national museums of its dependency”, a- he assured.

Infobae Culture communicated with the culture portfolio to discuss with the national director of museums, Maria Isabelle Baldasarre, in order to know his opinion on the statements of Martín, both in the case of the Decoration and in terms of the security of the rest of the national museums. From space, they responded with the official statement and said that for now they would not make any more statements.

The statement assures that Martín “was not ‘separated’ from his post, but his preventive suspension was ordered” due to “the succession of reports of absences made by the aforementioned official in a very short period of time, and the possible non-compliance by part of the director of the Museum of the duties of care and conservation of the collection for which he is responsible”.

From the Ministry they explained that “after a first complaint to the police filed by Arch. Marcos, due to the appearance of new missing persons, the Ministry of Culture had to extend the complaint to the Intermediate Court” and that “In the process of investigating the inventory of the Museum commissioned by the Ministry and entrusted to the National Directorate of Museums, new shortages were discovered that were not noticed by the suspended director and another series of irregularities related protection of Museum property.”.

Martín Marcos won by competition the designation of director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in 2017
Martín Marcos won by competition the designation of director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in 2017

Regarding the lack of security systems, the press release maintains that “both the administrative summary and the legal case pending before the National and Federal Criminal Justice are in full development of investigation, for which It is not appropriate to comment on the facts under investigation nor on the state of said affairs, as well as on various evaluations made in terms of security in museums”.

how was the flight

The theft of ants in the 11 rooms was discovered between February 16 and 24, in different areas of the Decorative. On Wednesday the 11th, a guard noticed that a display case displaying many pieces of 19th century European decorative porcelain was open. Three pieces were missing, Austrian porcelain amphorae vases 26 cm high, with an estimated value of 1,500 USD each.

In the days that followed, they found that the theft was even bigger: 6 pieces of glass and crystal from different 20th-century Swedish manufacturers, of different sizes and shapes, which were locked away; lack of oil paint Saint Joseph with the Childan anonymous from the 17th century Murillo school, as well as the oil painting Portrait of the Infanta, another anonymous 17th-century Spaniard. What is curious in this last case is that the frame of the work was in its usual position and the small painting 9 cm high by 7 cm wide was replaced by another black and white image .

March 11, Tristan Bauer, Minister of Culture, said: “The only thing museums have to focus on right now is taking care of heritage. And so, in record time, the necessary equipment was tendered, assigned and purchased to have surveillance cameras for the decoration, under the company Rocnet SA, located in Ingeniero Maschwitz, which is responsible for the export, l importation, advice, representation, marketing, installation, support and maintenance (help desk) of telecommunications or computer equipment, hardware and software, according to the publication in the Official Journal of February 5. As this medium was able to discover, the pieces have not yet been recovered, nor has the museum’s security system been installed.


Hold-up at the Decorative Museum: the suspended director denounces the inaction of the Domain Directorate and the Ministry of Culture
Historical pieces from the Museum of Decorative Arts are missing: they are investigating to find out if it is a theft
Le Décoratif, a palace for experiencing art between the 16th and 20th centuries

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