Art crime scholars and art world professionals constantly grapple with determining the most effective methods by which to reduce and prevent victimization by art vandals. Despite the numerous accounts of this form of criminality, there is a dearth of empirical studies focused on the security and care of art collections. Using Routine Activities Theory to guide the research, the present study explores the relationship between social and physical guardianship practices and the prevalence of art vandalism using questionnaire data collected from 111 American art museums and art galleries. The results indicate an overwhelming lack of association between the majority of the guardianship measures and vandalism victimization, a pattern consistent with the possibility that social and physical guardianship practices are not implemented until after an act of vandalism has already occurred.
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