Protecting your investments, especially valuable physical items, is hugely important. But how can this be achieved in a cost effective way that also makes you feel secure? Art galleries around the world offer great examples of the varying levels of protection used to keep precious items secure.

Comparing large and small art galleries, we look at the security that goes into valuable item protection in three core areas: building security, online protection and insurance.


Building Protection: Alarms & Locks

The biggest museums and galleries use high level security measures. These include guards, cameras, laser detectors and even weight based trackers for special works. However, smaller galleries don’t follow suit with these serious security measures, despite their pieces having significant financial worth.

Take the independant, photo realism specialist gallery in London, Plus One Gallery. Its storefront is much like others on its high street, accessible to anyone. Yet, take a walk around and you have seem to have easy access to numerous works with huge potential value. Unlike big galleries like the Tate Modern, smaller galleries don’t require the extravagant expense that comes with manned guarding.

Instead, building security and visible aspects of alarm systems, such as bell boxes and shields, form a strong protective foundation to protect against physical theft for such small spaces. Locks can be installed and remain sealed until prospective buyers ring or knock. As Metropolitan Police Gold Award Winners and security experts Banham point out, door locks can be enough to deter burglars. This is down to the fact that they clearly show that precautionary security measures are in place.


Online Protection: Buyer & Seller Security

Your typical public art gallery won’t sell their works online, instead making revenue from visitors and gift shop purchases. But with medium and smaller galleries, especially ones featuring up and coming artists, many pieces can be purchased online. So how do both parties protect themselves from fraud?

When you make a purchase through any site, you’ll be (or should be) transferred to a secure page. This is reflected in the website URL as starting HTTPS, instead of HTTP, and a padlock symbol appearing in the URL bar. This is hugely important, especially for buyers, as it guarantees an encryption is protecting your payment details. A gallery or business that wants to encourage trust in its buyers should always use secure its site with HTTPS.

Paypal, Google Wallet and Paymate are just some of the most widely known examples of third party secure payment systems that use HTTPS security They provide a secure way for buyers to make payments, and for sellers to receive funds without directly connecting their accounts. This helps both sides feel safe and equally treated in the transfer of large sums.

Insurance: Essential For Artworks Or Galleries

Insurance policies can be taken out on individual items, persons or businesses. When it comes to correctly insuring the pieces in an art gallery, the sums can be significant, as well as the rates. While detailing the value of a work is relatively simple; gallery owners will have a sale value for each piece, and the buyers in turn will have a purchase value that they agree on. The sale might seem simple, but it needs to be a secure process even once it’s agreed.

Artworks need to be secure at every stage of the sale. This means creating a detailed consignment agreement – which includes the history of ownership for art pieces, much like with vehicles. Details of the transfer will have to be carefully outlined so that the correct party is liable at the correct times. You’ll also have to take care in choosing a specialist courier service for the package – platforms like AnyVan provide insured parcel delivery, which is essential for such a delivery.

Hanging or display pieces will have to be insured to a higher level as their can be an increased perceived risk of theft. Adding security measures such as door locks or anti theft alarms will reduce the insurance rate as it shows precautions have been taken to dissuade thieves.