Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Former CPAC Member Interviewed About YSL Qing Italian Garden Ornaments Dispute

Antiques Magazine has interviewed Asian art expert and former CPAC member Kate Fitz Gibbon about the ongoing controversy related to the Qing Italian Garden sculptures sold at the recent YSL auction. See: http://www.themagazineantiques.com/news-opinion/the-market/2009-03-02/the-rabbit-and-the-rat-who-owns-chinese-antiquities-an-interview-with-kate-fitz-gibbon/

Kate is certainly uniquely qualified to comment on this controversy. Her observations about the history of the sculptures and popular culture's part in this dispute are fascinating.

Thinking further about all of this I can understand how China can make a "moral claim" to the sculptures, but to make a moral claim doesn't one have to have "clean hands?" Here, the Chinese Government has blasted the French and English for looting the sculptures over 150 yeas ago, but the Chinese Government itself is guilty of actively destroying or looting for sale important Tibetan artifacts in far more recent times.

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