Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do museums respond to photographic evidence?

Caught in the net?
Will the publication of parts of the photographic dossiers seized in Switzerland and Greece change the attitudes of museums? The answer is probably not, at least in Europe.

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen has refused to hand over material requested by the Italian authorities. The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens holds an Athenian pot recognised from the Medici dossier. The National Archaeological Museum in Madrid has yet to resolve its disagreement with Italy. And there are museums in the UK where material has been linked.

Looking further afield there is the unresolved situation with the Miho Museum in Japan.

And museums form only one element. Identification of stock with dealers and in auctions has made little difference to some.

It seems to me that the major issue is compliance with international agreements. And there seems to be little willingness to demonstrate co-operation in some quarters.

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