El Greco Loan from In-Laws Causes Controversy

July 21 2020

Image of El Greco Loan from In-Laws Causes Controversy

Picture: The New York Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The New York Times have reported on complaints from a whistleblower regarding the loan of a painting of St Francis by El Greco by the Detriot Institute of Arts. The complaint revolves around the fact that the painting was loaned from the father-in-law of the Institute's Director Salvador Salort-Pons. 

The article puts forward the case levelled at the Institute's director:

“A museum official (or close relative) who loans an object to the museum for display then sells it after exhibition would likely earn an enhanced price for the object,” said Greg Stevens, director of the Institute of Museum Ethics at Seton Hall University. “And it would also cause the appearance of impropriety to arise — namely, that the museum used its prestige, resources, and reach to enrich the official.”

Salort-Pons asserts that his family connections to the loan were fully disclosed and that the loan was approved by the institute's chairman. The institute's own guidelines explain that family loans are possible and that "care should be used to achieve objectivity in such cases." The Institute has employed a Washington Law firm to review their loan procedures and policies to ensure they had been followed.

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