Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bothmer fragments raising questions about transparency

One year on from the announcement that the Met had handed over a number of unspecified pieces from the approximately 10,000 fragments bequeathed to the museum by Dietrich von Bothmer, the museum has posted a token image on the AAMD Object Register. Is the Met serious about transparency? A first step would be to release the full details of the 40 fragments that have been returned. They have been asked the question but have declined to answer.

It is important for the museum to declare the collecting histories of the returned fragments. How were they acquired?

As the Met starts to use the AAMD Object Register in a tokenistic way, will the museum commit itself to revealing the full collecting information of each fragment? What narrative will emerge from the publication of the fragments? Can we expect further returns to Italy and transfers to other collections?

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