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August 03, 2007

Keeping Things Clear

I’m a little slow on the uptake on this blogospherical world. Tyler Green at Modern Art Notes took issue earlier this week with my post on Marion True, and called my analysis of her public humiliation inaccurate. But it is Green, in fact, who is factually inaccurate, as he cites the loan for her house on Paros as proof that she broke the rules. Her public ordeal – her criminal trial in Italy and the pending charges against her in Greece --  do not involve the loan for her house in Paros. They involve, in the main, her purchases of allegedly looted antiquities for the Getty. And it is this issue which warrants consideration of the larger forces at work in the art world, and the highly unusual situation of a once-respected curator facing jail time. Perhaps to Green it is heresy to consider the notion that True is not one bad apple in an otherwise transparent world of antiquities buyers and sellers. But my reporting throughout the world of antiquities strongly suggests otherwise. And as the state prosecutor in Rome made clear in his interview with me, Marion True is being tried to bring the Getty to heel. As of this week, the Getty has been brought to heel; True’s public agonies, as I mentioned earlier based on that interview, can be expected to draw to a close.