Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chasing Aphrodite: Reviews

A review of Chasing Aphrodite will appear in tomorrow's LA Times (review, May 22, 2011). Wendy Smith starts with the question that came to her mind as she read about the acquisitions at the J. Paul Getty Museum: "What were they thinking?"

Smith considers the "loophole" that allowed the Getty to acquire material that appeared to be fresh out of the ground while using rhetoric to distance the museum from any association with looting.

We are reminded of the problems with the Fleischman collection that undermined the revised museum acquisition policy.
"True, at once the greatest sinner and the greatest champion of reform, has been made to pay for the crimes of all American museums," Felch and Frammolino conclude. That seems an accurate assessment, though it could also be argued that True's breathtaking ability to say one thing while doing another, coupled with the Getty's institutional arrogance, made her a fair target. This chronicle of her painful, protracted fall from grace certainly makes for a riveting cautionary tale.

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