Threats of Staff Strikes Over Security Issues Put National Gallery’s Popular Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition in Jeopardy

Late this summer, you might recall, “The Adoration of the Golden Calf” and “The Adoration of the Shepherds”, two paintings by Nicolas Poussin, were attacked and damaged at London’s National Gallery. Though the assailant was captured, given how much damage he was able to inflict before being stopped clearly indicated that there was something of a lack of security issue. So what does the gallery have planned? The Guardian reports that, due to calls for cutbacks within all government-funded organizations in the UK, the organization “ordered that each assistant should keep watch over two rooms rather than one.” This has cause something of an uproar among the affected museum staff, who claim the museum was already under-guarded, and have now moved ever closer to striking. Granted, they’ve been issuing that threat since early last month, but now that they’ve held an official vote, it seems ever-closer to reality. What’s sure to make the next move critical for the Gallery, and what’s certain to give the staff some bargaining power, is that the museum is currently playing host to “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan,” an exhibition that is setting regularly sold-out attendance records for them. Should the assistants walk, it’s likely that their absence could cripple the museum into having to shut down entirely, turning away all those eager visitors until a solution can be found. Certain to be a tense next few days between both parties (and for those who pre-ordered tickets).