Tuesday, March 6
Only the French
The Louvre is setting up a branch in Abu Dhabi, and the French are very upset.
I assumed they'd be upset because French taxpayers would be contributing to the new museum, or perhaps upset because the art in the Abu Dhabi branch would be less accessible to the French public.
Actually, the controversy is because the French government will make money in the deal--some $524 million.
This, according to critics, amounts to using France's artistic heritage for basely commercial ends.
"Our museums are not for sale", proclaims an online petition signed by 4,700 people - including many curators, art historians, and archaeologists.
I wish the Spansih had the same qualms about their cathedrals. I remember having to pay admission to see anything more than the daily chapel where Mass and confessions were said/heard. Of course, the cathedrals need to pay for the upkeep, but, well, whatever.