Source: 1999, #1382
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 18:46:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Glenn Goffin
Subject: Traveller patron: The art museum
The art museum on X specializes in the arts of region Y from various periods. The museum has arranged with the Y authorities for an exhibition of ancient artwork from Y. There are a large number of pieces, some extremely large, some extremely small, many very fragile, all priceless and irreplaceable (although marketing stolen works may be problematic). The pieces will be transported from Y to X entirely by commercial ships. The pieces may be originating from more than one world in Y.
The PCs are hired by the Y authorities as couriers to travel with and guard some or all of the pieces. They must ensure the authenticity of the pieces at each stage of the journey, making sure that the pieces that went into sealed container A are the ones coming out of sealed container A, making sure that the container is not unsealed at the wrong times, monitoring the internal environment of the containers (humidity, atmosphere, pressure, etc.), guarding against breakage and theft, and ensuring that the pieces arrive at X on time and return safely to Y.
The pieces may also be shown at several sites on X.
Details and adventures are left to the referee.
The foregoing was inspired by an article in the current issue of Treasures, the magazine of San Francisco's Asian Art Museum, from which I quote:
"Most exhibitions require couriers to accompany the objects as they make their trip from one venue to another, and amking arrangements for them is a big undertaking. Couriers (who are usually curators, conservators, or registrars [but might be gun-toting ex-spooks --GMG]) must be prepared to spend long periods away from home. For Golden Age, a delegation of more than twenty people from China will stay with the entire exhibition, rotating in teams, with each group staying four to five weeks -- this is a significant exhibition expense. It is up to the registrars to find accommodations for them, to provide translators if needed, andto arrange library access and educational and leisure activities.- --Glenn
"During transit, the couriers must never lose sight of the objects: they must be present when objects are packed and unpacked, they have to ride in the truck carrying the object to the plane or one following it, they have to ride in the same plane as the objects ... and they have to be present for the loading and unloading. Forrest McGill recalls couriering a single ceramic to an exhibition in Miho, Japan, which required him to go thirty hours without sleep."