Thursday, February 23, 2012

Timothy Potts: "the problem hasn't gone away"

Lee Rosenbaum of Culturegrrl has published the second part of her interview with Timothy Potts who is moving from Cambridge to the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rosenbaum makes this striking statement:
What most startled me was his [Potts'] lack of thorough knowledge about the Getty's written antiquities-collecting policy, which is more stringent than the UNESCO Convention's guidelines regarding cultural property. (UNESCO's rules, ratified by the U.S., restrict museums from acquiring objects lacking a well documented, clean provenance that goes back at least to November 1970.)

In light of the Getty's history of past antiquities-related mishaps and scandals (which led to its adoption of its unusually strict policy), the failure of Getty officials to fully brief its prospective museum director (and to seek his concurrence) regarding these acquisition rules seems a significant omission, calling into question the current administration's wholehearted commitment to the policy put into place by the previous administration.
There is also a brief comment on the Douris cup acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum.

I suggest that LM readers read the transcript of the interview and make up their own minds.

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1 comment:

DR.KWAME OPOKU said...

Can any well-educated person who is interested in the question of the acquisition of artefacts illegally transferred from their country of origin and who has followed events of the last decade be unaware of events and changes in guidelines at the Getty?

Kwame Opoku

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