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May 23, 2010

Art of the Steal – the untold story of Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation

Posted at 11:56 am in Similar cases

The film Art of the Steal looks at the controversy surrounding the move of a collection of impressionist artworks to a new site. The argument against this move stems largely from the fact that the collection, the building that houses it & its site are integral to the mission of the Barnes foundation. While I’m sure that this is the case & they tell a certain story, it must also be clear that none of the artworks were designed specifically for this collection. This is a completely different scenario from cases such as the Parthenon Sculptures, where they were designed for (& in some cases carved in place on) the Acropolis – thus making them a significant part of the monument.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Movie Review: ‘Art of the Steal’ frames a tale of intrigue
Friday, April 02, 2010
By Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Controversy still stirs over the Elgin Marbles — the Athens Parthenon sculptures collected by Lord Elgin in the early 1800s and put on display in the British Museum, London. The Greek government has requested their return.

The past decade has seen artworks once in the possession of great Western museums taken back to their countries of origin, and others pillaged by Nazi Germany returned to their owners.
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