David Gill considers why dealers, museum directors and collectors want the Becchina and Medici Archives made public:
First, they do not wish the lack of due diligence in the preparations for sales and acquisitions to be made public. Second, there is concern that there could be reputational damage if objects are identified in collections are sales. So what can the market do? There needs to be an improvement in the due diligence process, and objects need to be provided with properly authenticated and documented collecting histories. Is that too much to ask?Perhaps an unfortunate turn of phrase, we do not need items with no documented history to be provided with one for the sake of the market by the time-honoured means of just asking somebody to declare (lie) they'd "seen it" (or "daddy had had" it) somewhere - we have seen enough of such false declarations in court cases and criminal investigations to see that they are next to useless. What we need is for a clean market to provide to buyers only those objects they can show in a verifiable manner are 'kosher'. Let the underground cowboys deal with the rest.
Hat tip to Sam Hardy for the phrasing of the title