The V&A is one the most iconic museums in London, and is the world’s largest museum of art and design
The museum needed a security solution that could effectively monitor the safety of both visitors and exhibits

Canon Europe, world leader in imaging solutions, has announced that the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has selected Canon network cameras as part of a new visual surveillance solution.

The museum houses some of the most valuable collections in the art and design world, and needed a security solution that could effectively monitor the safety of both visitors and exhibits. 66 Canon cameras are already in use at the museum, including 14 VB-H630D and 52 VB-H730F, with plans to expand this number exponentially in the next few years as the project progresses.

Victoria and Albert Museum

The V&A is one the most iconic museums in London, and is the world’s largest museum of art and design, with 145 galleries covering 12.5 acres. The museum has showcased some of the most valuable treasures from the art and design world, including recent exhibitions such as the Bejewelled Treasures exhibition of Indian jewellery, which was the first exhibition to be protected by Canon network cameras.  As the jewellery was best showcased in a darkened room, with each piece individually illuminated by spotlights, the cameras had to be capable of exceptional low and difficult light performance, an area in which Canon’s solution excelled. Following on from the success of this installation, The V&A plans to roll out Canon cameras across the whole museum over the next three years, including areas not open to the public, as well as the perimeter and roof.

IP system solution

Erik Vieira, Senior Security Manager at The V&A, comments. “Our old analogue system was not capable of providing the high definition surveillance we needed, so we were keen to move across to an IP system. Having conducted a trial with just three cameras on the roof of the museum, the Canon cameras offered a huge improvement in image quality and we’ve been so impressed that we’re continuing to explore what else is possible with the cameras’ in-built analytics and with VMS solutions provided by Wavestore further down the line, for example to monitor how many people are visiting an exhibition and how they move around the gallery space to help improve our visitor experience

Already, the cameras have
been used to detect petty
theft outside the museum
and provide a clear image
of the perpetrator for the
police

Surveillance partnership

The V&A has already developed a close working relationship with Canon, and is confident that the partnership will lead to new and innovative surveillance solutions in future. Vieira continues, “Canon has supported us every step of the way, offering excellent support with frequent site visits to ensure the whole upgrade process is running smoothly. Canon’s understanding of our complex requirements has proved them to be the real experts in this area, and we’re looking forward to continuing to work with Canon as we complete our system upgrade throughout the museum.” The VB-H630D and VB-H730F used in the installation so far excel in providing visual coverage of a large area thanks to their wide angled lenses. This is already saving the museum money by reducing the number of cameras needed to cover the same area, and the team aims to reduce the total number of cameras used by 25% without losing any visibility over the museum.

Joe White, Business Development Manager at Canon UK, adds, “We are thrilled by how successful the installation has been so far. Already, the cameras have been used to detect petty theft outside the museum and provide a clear image of the perpetrator for the police. This is just one example of how the solution has proved invaluable, and we are excited to consider the possibilities, even beyond security, as we continue the installation.”

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