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Frontpage News 2012 New security system for the Czech National Gallery

Security hanging system in Sternberg Palace.bmp

New security system for the Czech National Gallery

  • Supported by €850,000 from the Norway Grants and in partnership with the Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage, the National Gallery in Prague has modernised its security system to safeguard its works of art.

    The results of the two-year project were presented at a February press conference in Prague. Norwegian Ambassador Jens Eikaas said that he was pleased that Norway had been able to make a substantial contribution to the financing of the project.

    Budgetary constraints

    Constraints in the state budget meant that funding was only available for three facilities rather than the whole project as originally intended. The grant from Norway helped to cover the shortfall.

    Preventing theft

    Development of the new modern security system started 2002. Existing systems have been upgraded and integrated, including the alarm system, fire protection system, and a comprehensive graphic monitoring system.

    All 8 buildings of the National Gallery, including the courtyards and gardens, are now connected to a central security system, ensuring that the pictures in the collection remain safe for present and future generations to enjoy.

    The National Gallery experienced its most serious robbery in 1991, when four Picasso paintings worth almost €70 million were stolen from the Sternberg Palace. Although the thieves were caught and the paintings retrieved, this highlighted the need for a complete overhaul of the system. “This could never happen now,” says Director of the Museum Milan Knizak.

    Photo: National Gallery in Prague 


  • Country:

    Czech Republic

    Project title:

    Modernization of Security Systems in the Environment of a Museum/Gallery

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Conservation of European cultural heritage



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project duration:

    21 months

    Project cost:

    € 1,009,358

    Grant rate:


    Grant agreement date:

    28 July 2009

    The purpose of the Project is to modernise the security systems in Veletrzni palace, Kinsky palace, St. Agnes' Convent, Sternberg palace and St. George's Convent in Prague, with the overall objective of conservation of European cultural heritage in the Czech Republic. Reference is made to the application dated 24 October 2008, and to any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - purchase and installation of a modernised security system;

    - documentation of collection items; and

    - publicity, procurement and project management.

    The Project Promoter is the National Gallery in Prague. Subject to national law, the Project shall be implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic provides at least 15 percent of the total eligible Project costs.