6 April 2020

Scottish Labour MSP Claire Baker has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work to ask for assurances that the security of Scotland’s cultural venues is being treated as a priority by the Scottish Government.

It comes following the high profile theft of a work by Vincent van Gogh from a museum near Amsterdam last week. The Singer Laren museum had been closed earlier in March as part of the closedown of cultural services across the Netherlands because of coronavirus.

Claire Baker, Scottish Labour’s culture and tourism spokesperson, has asked what planning there has been between the Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the museum sector for guaranteeing the continued protection of museum collections and heritage, noting that they will be at heightened risk during a necessary period of closure due to covid-19.

In the letter to Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Labour culture spokesperson Claire Baker said:

“Scotland has many valuable assets held in its national museums and galleries, as well as in the varied local and independent museums and galleries across Scotland.

“There are concerns that they are particularly vulnerable during this period to theft as well as act of vandalism, and while the national bodies may have significant security systems in place and their funding is provided by the Scottish Government, the smaller, regional museums may be finding it difficult to meet the cost of security measures during this time of severely reduced income.”
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