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New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and most celebrated art museums. The Met’s vast collections span 5,000 years of history, its buildings are spread over 12 acres and it’s visited by millions of people each year.
Keeping all the treasures secure — and all those visitors safe — is a monumental task. And for nearly 40 years, that job fell to John Barelli. In 2016, he retired as the head of security at The Met. During his career, he investigated missing artworks, dealt with pranksters like Banksy and oversaw a massive transformation of the technology and systems that keep the museum safe.
He details his extraordinary career in a new book, “Stealing the Show: A History of Art and Crime in Six Thefts.”
NewsHour Weekend’s Megan Thompson recently sat down with Barelli to learn more. Watch the full interview in the video player above.
Megan Thompson shoots, produces and reports on-camera for PBS NewsHour Weekend. Her report "Costly Generics" earned an Emmy nomination and won Gracie and National Headliner Awards. She was also recently awarded a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship to report on the issue of mental health. Previously, Thompson worked for the PBS shows and series Need to Know, Treasures of New York, WorldFocus and NOW on PBS. Prior to her career in journalism she worked in research and communications on Capitol Hill. She originally hails from the great state of Minnesota and holds a BA from Wellesley College and a MA in Journalism from New York University.
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