Of course, adding a personal touch that really makes any space your own is what we all like to do with our properties and floating homes of the super-rich are no exception.

As well as wanting things of their choice and taste around them, they can be a playground for showing off wealth and therefore, if you can afford it, why not carry your favourite art with you?.

Are you allowed to move valuable works of art around the world on your yacht?

Cultural goods without EU status will no longer be allowed entry into EU countries without proof that they have been exported legally from their country of origin. This new EU regulation, 2019/880, has been introduced to put a stop to the trafficking of antiquities from the Middle East which is funding terrorism. Depending on the category, objects over 250 years or 200 years old will only be able to cross over into EU territory with specific documentation. There are also ‘national treasure’ laws in place to stop cultural artefacts from leaving their homeland territory. It is an export compliance issue that has resulted in seizures on superyachts in the past.

Are any types of art not allowed to be moved throughout continents?

As well as the export risks already mentioned, artworks that are made from endangered species materials including certain animal skins, ivory, and coral are governed by an international convention. This CITES regulation means that they cannot be openly moved between countries without a license. These types of art and design must, of course, be avoided, not just for ethical reasons, but because they run at worst the risk of being seized and the owner prosecuted for smuggling or at the very least, causing a delay with itineraries and travel schedules.

Who can assist you with art on-board questions?

It is important to speak to an expert to get more information about the movement of your art. Pandora Mather-Lees, an Oxford graduate in art history, a Liveryman in the company of art scholars and Fellow of the RSA is now a dedicated superyacht art consultant. When requested, she conducts an overview of the art collections onboard and highlights any risk to collections. Ensuring that both captains and crew are duly trained and important documents and processes incorporated into the SOP’s of the vessel.

The most interesting aspect of her work for us at Superyacht Technology News is the consultancy that she offers, alongside experts, to promote the best technology on board to provide security and a safe environment for such artworks. Climate, including lighting, heating, humidity, and saline-based air all run a great risk.

What can technology offer to protect art?

‘Smart Glass’ options protect treasures from pollution and light damage also protecting them from accidents and potentially elongating the life of the artwork. Specially crafted frames and display cases which are sensor-driven (from the company ArtRatio) mean that UV, infrared and visible light can be controlled by your PC and reside in darkness during downtime. When guests approach the case, the glass becomes transparent for viewing. The switchable smart glass facade reduces UV, infrared and visible light damage by switching into its transparent state (and activating the internal LEDs) only when triggered by visitor presence. By protecting the artwork in frames and display cases this technology also protects the valuable piece from humidity and heat fluctuations as well as damaging light rays. Providing adequate lighting for different mediums of art requires external expert lighting consultation too, protecting them from glare and direct light sources.

Works of art need to be carefully considered at new build or retrofit stage as they should only be displayed in areas where the climate can be controlled, therefore they need to be placed away from heat or cooling sources and vents. However, advances in technology on superyachts means that most environments can be completely controlled, at times, better than art galleries.

Another technology to consider in this instance is the security of the artwork and ensuring that adequate alarms and monitoring are in place, it will obviously be a requirement of the yacht’s insurance anyway, but owners may want to have monitoring options so that they can view the status of their asset even when not on board.

Art On Superyacht

Art Pioneers: Perfect for Superyacht Art

Finally, if you don’t want to have the art on board at all, another trusted partner working with Pandora Art Services is Arius Technology. The Vancouver based art pioneers have developed 3D Scanning systems which can capture a painting to the 10th of a human hair. This provides a vast data file that can be kept safe for various uses including identifying condition defects and verifying that the painting has not been switched (not uncommon according to Pandora) and also for recreating a 3D printed replica.

Safety whilst on the move

Because of the vulnerability and thickness of bulkheads, secure fixings are required from experts such as Yacht Art Management based in Hamburg who are associates recommended by Pandora. The objects can also be electronically monitored not just for security but also for climate control.

Security and Sensors

Frankentek Yacht Security offers high-tech deterrent solutions including proximity access control from an app on your phone. This places a system on yachts that alert the crew if anyone comes too close to valuable works of art and they also have the means to conceal valuable pieces with panels. They have a number of bespoke electronic security installations and yacht security systems available.

Marine Guard are global marine security system experts with onboard art and asset tracking systems and sensors for paintings. Their ‘visibility solutions’ allow tracking of assets with incredibly high accuracy if movement triggers the system.

Fortecho systems coming from the museum space, bringing its technology to yachts with state of the art wireless protection. Their system Fortecho Marine is specially designed to ensure security, as well as the environmental safety, of high-value assets on board.

Technology as Art

As technology continues to develop, its advancement is visible in all forms. Digital Art is now a known form of artist exploration. CGI, AI, advanced art packages, animation, and high technology photography are now assisting to produce incredible pieces of very modern art. We would be very interested to hear from digital artists who may be interested to display their art at our Superyacht Technology Conference in Barcelona in 2020. Please contact jo@superyachttechnology. com to find out more.

Are crew really qualified to care for valuable works of art?

It’s all very well for owners to request valuable pieces of art to be onboard their yachts, however, even if covered by adequate insurance, do crew really have the skills required to care for and to transport art of such value? Issues arise all the time regarding care, cleaning, and movement of incredibly valuable pieces.

Dedicated art on superyacht training

Pandora Art On Superyachts

Pandora offers training in the practical care of fine art onboard superyachts. Onboard art collections can be worth as much or more than the superyacht itself, therefore the crew encounter unique challenges in successfully caring for these prestigious items. The 1-2-day customisable certified course will equip you with the introductory knowledge and practical skills to care for art collections and luxury design onboard superyachts.

Topics covered include:

Could you safely organise the packing and shipping of a valuable painting?

How should you get fine art objects cleaned, conserved or technically analysed?

What do you need to know to care for valuable materials responsibly?

Can you distinguish painting styles?

Where should fine art NOT be hung?

What are the insurance implications of damage to art at sea?

Delegates will be introduced to art appreciation along with the physical mechanics of the art world. They will learn to use the correct terminology and up to date practices in arts management as well as specific considerations for handling art objects on a yacht. Providing your crew with advice on specialist help in an emergency, preservation of artwork and the confidence to handle art collections are essential skills if your yacht has great collections.

For more information please contact Pandora Mather-Lees by email on pandora@artonsuperyacht.com or visit her website.


For any query feel free to contact us