Caravaggio 'discovery' 'row'

July 9 2012

Picture: La Stampa Photo removed after an angry email from a copyright agency in Italy. 

It was inevitable, wasn't it? An improbable discovery story is announced by two art historians about 100 'new' works by Caravaggio worth hundreds of millions of euros. Immediately, the press send the tale around the world. The art historian's e-book gets a nice number of sales.

Then, doubts begin to emerge among other Caravaggio scholars. And it turns out the people who made the discovery never actually saw the works in the flesh, relying only on photos. The press, of course, delight in writing up the story all over again, this time with headlines about 'a row' over the discovery.

Is this the future of art history, where accuracy and scholarship suffer a slow death by press release?  

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