Thursday, January 7, 2010

Michael Brand on the Getty's Relationship with Italy

Lee Rosenbaum on Culturegrrl has carried the story about Michael Brand's resignation as Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.  While some members of the AAMD have taken a critical attitude towards Italy (over the CPAC review of the MOU with Italy), Brand is far more generous in the released statement:
I am especially pleased that we were able to break through a deadlock and settle claims by Italy and Greece for certain objects in our antiquities collection, and that we now enjoy a renewed relationship with the governments of both those countries. The fruits of the partnership with Italy have included the extraordinary loans to the historic Bernini exhibition and the current loan of the phenomenal Chimaera of Arezzo, all of which have brought this institution much public and critical acclaim.
Brand's position was made clear in his co-operative return of a further fragment of wall-painting to Italy in April 2009.

While I have not always agreed with Brand on some of the issues (e.g. 'orphans'), I can only admire the way that he has given a positive steer to the J. Paul Getty Museum in a very difficult period over the return of antiquities to Italy and Greece (see Gill and Chippindale). I would like to offer him my best wishes.



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