Earlier this month we talked with Dr. Peter Marzio, director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, about a rash of overseas art thefts and how the museum guards against potential security threats. It's easier to protect artwork when it's hanging in a museum, but what about works the museum loans out to other institutions, especially ones located in the European danger zone? That's when a member of the museum staff is sent on assignment as a courier to accompany the work all the way to its destination. It sounds almost spy-like: traveling with multi-million dollar artworks to exotic locales and staying at upscale hotels--armed with an expense account. Of course, there's responsibility involved. You can't get too drunk and lose your $1.3 million-dollar cargo, like this guy did.
Nevertheless, it sounds like a super-cool job, and Art Attack wanted to find out how to get it. Just like we thought, it actually requires study and experience. Damn!
Julie Bakke, an art registrar (and frequent courier) for the MFAH, delivered the disappointing news.