The insurance of national museums: an impossible mission

The August 2004 spectacular theft of the painter Edward Munch's two paintings in the Oslo Museum (Norway) underscored the real situation of the great national museums throughout the world.
insurance of museums

It is impossible for museums to insure their permanent collections against theft due to the exorbitant costs of such covers. The two stolen paintings «The scream» and «Madonna», are estimated for a cumulated value of 100 million USD.

Likewise for the Prado in Madrid, the Louvre , the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, the Offices Gallery in Florence, the Prague Castle, the Amsterdam Rijksmueum, the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersbourg,… which acknowledged that only the paintings removed for temporary exhibitions are insured, unlike permanent collections owned by the state, which is its own insurer.

The insurance of private museums is left to the discretion of their owners who are quite reluctant about writing any policy for fiscal or financial reasons.

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