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The Art of Violent Protest and Crime Prevention

Department of Social Sciences, University of Roehampton, SW15 5SL London, UK
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 11 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Art Crime Research (2018))
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This article examines violent protest in art museums. There is a long history of art museums being used as sites of protest. As spaces full of meaning, they represent ideal locations for people to try to shape the present and the future. From peaceful demonstrations to terrorist attacks, the current risks of protest to art museums is high. Motivated by ideological, political and social reasons, these protests include those that specifically target art objects within the art museums, as well as others that use the sites as stages on which to protest. This article is based predominantly on secondary sources; however, it also uses empirical research data collected by the author during observation research at art museums in London in March 2017 and July 2017. The article begins by considering why art museums attract so many protests. It argues that as ‘sites of persuasion’, art museums can be battlegrounds on which people look to shape how society is constructed and perceived. It then examines contemporary and historical case studies in Brazil and the UK to help our understanding of violent protests and the challenges they pose to art museums. Following this, the article proposes that as art museums are important sites of persuasion, there must be more awareness of the threats they face from violent protests in order to shape crime prevention approaches. The article finishes by arguing that although protests can be highly problematic for people involved with art museums, the ongoing appeal of these spaces as sites of protest shows the significance of art museums as important locations of cultural meaning. View Full-Text
Keywords: violent protest; art crime; art museums; situational crime prevention; terrorism violent protest; art crime; art museums; situational crime prevention; terrorism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Kerr, J. The Art of Violent Protest and Crime Prevention. Arts 2018, 7, 61.

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