Thursday 20 August 2015

Marion True's Memoirs

Christopher Knight ('Getty curator at the center of past looting scandals has been writing a memoir', Los Angeles Times, August 20th 2015) notes:
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Marion True, the distinguished Getty curator who took the fall for an entire profession then riddled with lapses — ethical and otherwise — in buying stolen art for their museums, has roughed out the draft of a memoir.
He sympathises with her position and thinks she should finish and publish it, especially as:
Before the looting story blew up, True was in the forefront of initiating necessary changes in the museum profession dealing with the extremely thorny subject of looted antiquities. That important (if unglamorous) fact was largely lost in the blaze of the paparazzi’s flashbulbs. True certainly didn’t have all the answers. And she made her own serious missteps along the way [...] But museums are sluggish institutions, and procedural change comes slowly. In the complex matter of looted antiquities, True was feeling her way through the underbrush. While others in the profession knew of the problems but either resisted change or merely looked away, she was heading in the right direction. The complex story of the indictment and court proceeding is laid out in “Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum,” the 2011 book by former Times reporters Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. One of its flaws, however, is a failure to adequately represent True’s trail-blazing reform efforts within the larger context of a stolid museum profession. The lapse skews the story.
Geoff Edgers, One of the world’s most respected curators vanished from the art world. Now she wants to tell her story., The Washington Post, August 19, 2015.

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