The High Five
9:22 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Are Some Foreign Countries Picking On Museums Like The DMA?

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The Dallas Museum of Art joins other high-profile museums in a score of give-backs to other countries, temperatures hit record high-lows in North Texas, birth certificates exclude one parent in same-sex couples and more.

Remember when the Dallas Museum of Art returned a mosaic to Turkey after discovering evidence it had been looted [ArtandSeek]? That relinquished prize was one of seven the museum gave back to Italy and Turkey in recent months. But the DMA isn’t alone in the transferring of bronze and canvas in a flurry of international intrigue.

The Toledo Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are among such institutions in “The Great Giveback,”an NY Times essay by Hugh Eakin. He sees foreign governments using fierce measures in their pursuit of art they feel is rightfully theirs:

In the process, museums’ relationships with foreign governments have become increasingly contingent upon giving in to unreasonable, and sometimes blatantly extortionary, demands. As Stephen Clark, the Getty’s current chief counsel, put it, “The Turks have said to me flat out” that they won’t loan the museum any art “unless you give up something we want.”

Interesting, as the case of the Orpheus Mosaic spawned the new Dallas Museum Exchange program, a more transparent (and legal!) way for works to travel internationally. Art&Seek’s Stephen Becker had that story.

  • We’re looking at North Texas’ second-highest low temperature for January today. This morning met DFW with 67-degree temperatures. And it might get weirder: Some erratic ups and downs over the next few days are stirring up a chance for severe weather. [Dallas Morning News]
  • When gay parents adopt a child in Texas, law allows only one of their names to be listed on his or her birth certificate. Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has filed a bill to challenge the form’s language. “Mother” and “father” were added as designators with an amendment in 1997 to “protect conservative values,” according to its author. [Texas Tribune]
  • A push for concealed handgun license training is a growing trend for Texas state workers.  Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, says remote areas in which his employees do their jobs make protection necessary.  [State Impact Texas]
  • You heard our Director of Interactive, Alan Melson, repping New Member Monday for day three of the KERA FM pledge drive on Morning Edition. Alan loves Radiolab, as many of us do. He explains why in this spot produced by KERA intern Janine Khammash. Fun aside: Like the main character in “Finding Emilie,” the episode Alan mentions, his wife is named Emily. Let the “awws” commence. [GIVE TODAY]