Whenever there is precious cargo onboard a cruise ship, chances are high that someone might try to commit a crime. For many years, our cruise accident attorneys have represented victims of crimes, accidents and illnesses on the high seas, and we have seen many thieves attempt to steal valuable items from onboard a vessel. Now, one cruise line might just have to exercise extreme caution when it comes to protecting a contemporary art collection.
The newly built cruise ship Reflections, which set sail on its maiden voyage on Wednesday from Miami to the Caribbean, boasts several innovations, but perhaps the most impressive is the vast array of art pieces featured onboard. The vessel, one of a fleet of 11 ships owned by Celebrity Cruises, has over 6,000 contemporary artworks, but that is merely a fraction of the company’s $60-million blue-chip collection.
International Corporate Art’s Mariangela Capuzzo had a $4.1 million dollar budget to work with for the vessel and curated an eclectic mix of old and new pieces that all relate in some way to the ship’s theme of reflection. Among its many innovative features include an overlaid aluminum backdrop with photographs of a Brazilian forest for the dining room, a psychedelic mural by Dzine, a set of Robert Rauschenberg etchings, a red aluminum rose by Will Ryman, and two impressive mirror-image reflective trees created by Bert Rodriguez, who kicked off the vessel’s preview on Monday with an onboard performance art piece.
The eight site-specific art works onboard were no small feat to set up. Capuzzo and her team began working with the artists over a year ago, while the ship was still in construction in Germany.
“Everything is based on drawings and it’s very complex to create an art collection on a ship, to create measurements when everything’s in millimeters, and to follow all the material constraints,” said Capuzzo.
For example, wood must be fire-treated, the International Maritime Organization must approve all resins, and no pieces can contain Plexiglass, which can emit toxic chemicals if burned. Christina and John Chandris, owners of Celebrity Cruises, began assembling the art collection in 1990. A few years later, the company was sold to Royal Caribbean International and some years after that, Capuzzo became the chief curator.
“There’s nobody in the industry that does what Celebrity does,” she said. “What’s amazing is that Royal continued what Christina started. They give you this budget and the freedom, and we try to create a museum-like experience for guests on board.”
The collection will surely be memorable for cruise goers who set sail aboard Reflections. But while the art work is impressive, travelers should be cautious and watch for signs of theft onboard. Even though the collection is extremely valuable, there are times in which thieves aim high and try to take home a prized piece, and guests may get hurt in the process. However this is extremely unlikely. How would the thief get the work of art off the vessel, especially after the cruise line becomes aware of the theft? The more likely crime involves the in room safes where passengers store valuables. Keeping a lookout for signs of wrongdoing can help prevent a serious incident from taking place onboard a cruise ship.
With respect to the storage of extremely valuable items such as jewelry, it would be a good idea to discuss with the purser the best course of action. Of course, leaving valuable jewelry at home always works.
Photo Source: cruisetraveloutlet.com