January 20, 2007

Cultural Vandalism

Reading the European Museums Forum bulletin (www.europeanmuseumforum.org) Bury's decision to sell the Lowry painting resurfaced. Apparently the Director of the National Gallery, Charles Saumerez Smith described it as "an arbitrary act of cultural vandalism". Bollocks. The Taliban destroying the statues of buddha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhas_of_Bamyan) is cultural vandalism; the US Army destroying ancient Persian archeology sites with a massive base in Iraq is cultural vandalism. Bury didn't burn the bloody painting. It sold it. If this was such a threat to the cultural heritage, why didn't the National Gallery buy it? Either they didn't have enough money - which was the same reason that Bury had to sell it - or it wasn't important enough to 'save' for the nation - which contradicts the claim that it was too important for Bury to sell.

1 comment:

msh13 said...

I agree completely. Vandalism implies defacement or desctruction of some property, neither of which has occurred here. Instead this appears as a sensationalist quote with the hopes of retaining the painting.