“I was numb with shock,” Lee said. “That is all I could say.”
Lee and Bai have since searched every floor of the building and reported the case to the police. They also regularly watch Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) videos around campus to find their art work, but the possibility “seems low.”
Art work robberies like these are not the first. Officially, there are two art work storerooms in Art & Design building A. Students put their art work also in their painting rooms. Though the exact number of robberies is not known, up to five cases happen every semester especially when the semester starts, according to the official of College of Art & Design and the student representatives of Western Painting majors.
“The stolen art works are often lost forever despite students’ efforts to find them,” said Lee Min-young (Western Painting, 2), the student representative for sophomore Western Painting majors. “Even if they are found, they are in a terrible state.”
The reasons for the robberies are not exactly known, but students have some ideas.
“It seems the art majoring students steal the works to use the wooden frames after tearing off the canvases,” said Choi You-won (Western Painting, 4), the student representative of senior Western Painting majors.
Students who lost art works usually blame the poor security of art work storerooms and the number of CCTVs installed.
“The lock on the art work storeroom on the sixth floor was broken for long,” Lee So-young said. “Also, school should install CCTVs in front of the art work storeroom to find the thieves.”
The office of the College of Art & Design says students should put more effort into storing their art works.
“We cannot make more art work storerooms due to lack of space,” said an official at the College of Art & Design. “We always tell students to take their works right after their exhibitions or at least before vacation starts, but not every student listens to us.”
The College of Art & Design is not sure about installing CCTVs in front of art work storerooms, which students think is the most effective solution.
“It seems installing CCTVs can violate the privacy of students most of who stay in the building all day,” the official said.
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