Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Medici Polaroids Leaked to Anti-Collector Archaeo-Blogger?

This blog has questioned the practice of the Italian Government (or at least elements within the Culture Ministry) of using the Medici Polaroids to play a game of "gotcha" on American auction houses and collectors. See http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2009/11/gotcha-italian-style.html

Now, anti-collector and anti-trade archaeo-blogger David Gill has evidently been given access to the Polaroids so he can play the same game of "gotcha" on his blog. See
http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/05/apulian-rhyton-from-medici-dossier.html and http://lootingmatters.blogspot.com/2010/05/medici-archive-roman-marble-youth.html

The group of Polaroids in Gill's possession seem to be different from another group released on DVD. See http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2010/01/italian-authorities-disclose-pictures.html

Who provided Gill with access to the Polaroids? Why haven't the authorities shared them with Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses? Why are only some of the Polaroids on the ALR Database? See http://illicit-cultural-property.blogspot.com/2010/05/why-cant-public-see-medici-polaroids.html Why release some pictures and not others?

Is Gill acting as an undisclosed agent of the Italian Cultural Bureaucracy or as some sort of Internet cultural property vigilante?

Wouldn't the right thing to do be to share all the images with collectors and auction houses? Playing games of "gotcha" either directly or through surrogates like Gill seriously undercuts the Italian Government's interest in appearing reasonable and cooperative as it renegotiates its MOU with the United States.

2 comments:

Map said...

Gill is doing important work in posing these questions. Whether the Italian government is using him to stir things up as the MOU is being discussed is another matter altogether.

Map said...

Seems to me Gill is doing important work. Whether he is being used by the Italian government which wants to keep these issues in the news as the MOU is being discussed is another matter altogether. Seems to me Gill should be smart enough to know what's up.