Title:Sacred and Stolen - Confessions of a Museum Director
Sacred and Stolen is the memoir of an art museum director with the courage to reveal what goes on behind the scenes. It lays bare the messy part of museums: looted antiquities, crooked dealers, deluded collectors, duplicitous public officials, fakes, inside thefts, bribery, and failed exhibitions. These back stories, at once shocking and comical, reveal a man with a taste for adventure, an eagerness to fan the flames of excitement, and comfort with the chaos that often ensued. This is also the story of a Minnesota kid who started out as a printer's devil in his father's small-town newspaper and ended up as the director of a the Walters, a gem of an art museum in Baltimore. Of his quest to bring the "holy" into the museum experience, and of his struggle, along the way, to reconcile his passion for acquiring and displaying sacred works of art with his suspicion that they were stolen. Among the cast of characters are the elegant French oil heiress Dominique de Menil, the notorious Turkish smuggler, Aydin Dikmen, and his slippery Dutch dealer, Michel van Rijn, the inscrutable and implacable Patriarchs of Ethiopia and Georgia, and the charismatic President of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze. And the mysterious "Mr. R. Egrette," a museum insider who in 1951 stole a tiny Renoir as a present for his girlfriend, that finally turned up and was returned 60 years later.
Second hand Hardback