(YNet)(For centuries Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has lived in France. Napoleon had her in his bedroom, Louis XIV brought her to Versailles, and eventually she graced the walls of the Louvre. An Italian Louvre employee was resentful of the fact that this painting wasn’t in its homeland. To restore the Mona Lisa to Italy, Vincenzo Peruggia hid her under his coat when the museum closed for the day and took her to Florence. Two years later, Peruggia was caught and the Mona Lisa was returned to Paris. Peruggia, unlike most robbers, was hailed as a patriotic hero and given a mere 7 months in jail.)
An Israeli project, which is set to boost the museum’s security, will further entail the installation of Synel’s time and attendance management hardware, as well as the use of fingerprint verification, keypad entry, magnetic card, barcode card, proximity card, contactless smart card and facial recognition. According to Erez Buganim, Synel’s Vice President of marketing, the Louvre is continuously exposed to burglary attempts, even by employees. “Therefore, the security system is needed. It will prevent unauthorized personnel from entering areas in the museum where priceless art is held in,” he said. “There are art pieces that aren’t always on display for the public and even the museum’s employees can’t reach certain exhibition spaces at all times,” he said. “Synel offers a technological solution which will monitor unauthorized entries into the museum and within the museum’s exhibition spaces,” Buganim added. The Israeli technology will allow for the museum’s security team to track the Louvre’s 700 employees. Synel France and England CEO Danny Farber expects that by the end of 2012, over 200 French organizations will be using the new technology. “The project at the Louvre is one of several new projects, Synel has recently started in France and England.”
I’m skeptical that the French public won’t freak out when they realize that the system used in a museum could also be used by street cameras and could track terrorists. They of course will point out that it is an Israeli technology that is obviously using art as a sidetrack. No doubt this would create the ultimate Panopticon. Already most cities have cameras installed all over the place. With facial recognition technology it’d be impossible to hide from the government. It is an interesting technology however. The same article had a link to another Israeli facial recognition company that facebook just bought. That is quite frightening to think in the future you will have to go in front of a camera and have Artificial Intel judge to see if you are you.