We do not want to deceive the public; we want to set the record straight and apologize !

In a previous posting in the following web site, http://www.mansooramarnacollection.com/correspondence/mfa_great_lie.shtml , we alleged that the Boston MFA was spreading false rumors regarding a lawsuit, filed by the Mansoor family against the Boston MFA. While this is total fabrication, we were under the impression that the new Director of the Boston MFA, Mr. Malcolm Rogers, was misled by members of his staff and possibly by the MFA’s own attorneys! We also exonerated Mr. Rogers, believing he was an " innocent " party in the Mansoor Amarna Collection misunderstanding.

However, after extensive perusal of an article, which appeared in the Boston Globe on December 27, 1998, " New MFA link seen to looted artifacts ", we find that Mr. Rogers is not innocent after all! The article pertains to a link between looted artifacts and the Boston MFA dealings in the illicit trade of looted artifacts. In this comprehensive article, the author, Mr. Walter Robinson, relates the various " incidents " leading to the conclusion that the Boston MFA, was not as forthcoming as it should have been about its links to smuggled artifacts.

Rather than go over an eight page – printable- document, we will just share some important facts, not taken out of context, which the reader may want to verify by checking the archives of the Boston Globe.

You be the judge. Read the following and decide if you would do business with such an organization. You may also want to judge for yourself, if Mr. Rogers should be trusted with the " integrity " of the MFA.

Here we go …the following quotes, are in sequence, from the afore mentioned article:

* " Even one of the MFA’s major benefactors told the Globe the museum often turned a blind eye to evidence the artifacts had dubious origins."

* " Alan Shestack, who was the MFA’s director from 1987 to 1994, acknowledged last week that during his tenure the museum took insufficient steps to ensure that its acquisitions had not been looted."

* " Unlike Shestack, Rogers has repeatedly refused to discuss the MFA’s collecting ethics."

  • " Rogers, who has been the MFA director since 1994, turned down repeated requests for an interview – a posture he adopted after the Globe reported last December that the MFA acquired the pre-Columbian artifacts even though its attorneys knew they had been illegally removed from Guatemala."

The question is: did the MFA’s attorneys willfully lie to Malcolm Rogers, regarding the " alleged " Mansoor law suit ? And if so, what are the Museum trustees going to do about it?

* " There is no doubt that there is a pattern by the MFA of acquiring looted material that was illegally excavated in Italy," said Boston University archaeologist Murray C. McClellan. " They have not lived up to their own standards, and they have to be called to account for that."

* " Unlike Rogers, others who have dealt with the MFA were more willing to discuss its acquisitions. One MFA benefactor, who has had extensive dealings with its classical department over the years said the MFA has taken artifacts from him knowing they had been looted. "

* " On some pieces…..the MFA was complicit in helping to alter the provenance information to make the objects appear to be clean."

* " At the center of the storm over the museum’s ethics is Cornelius C. Vermeule III, the MFA’s long time curator of classical antiquities who retired in 1996. A scholar world-renowned for his connoisseurship, and a beloved figure at the MFA and in the local art world, Vermeule developed a swashbuckling reputation for his acquisition habits. Even in retirement, Vermeule’s decisions still preoccupy lawyers."

* In another case involving the alleged theft of precious Athenian coins from Turkey, it was Vermeule who had the MFA authenticate them for the owners, despite evidence they might be " hot.""

There you have it. Is it any wonder that the MFA still denies complicity in the demonization of the Mansoor Amarna Collection ? They know they are " at the center of the storm" and are unwilling to say so publicly. As Mr. Robinson wrote in the Boston Globe :" Some lawyers and art historians say Rogers has a responsibility to assure its public that the museum’s behavior sets a moral standard for the community it serves."

Do we need to remind the reader about the Boston MFA smuggling of the " Gonzaga Painting ", by Rathbone and Swarzenski? The painting was ultimately returned to the Italian Government at a cost of $ 1,200,000.00 to the Boston MFA, or rather "to the community it serves". This is what happens when the administration of a museum gets involved in criminal activities.

We were wrong in our evaluation of Mr. Rogers, and we apologize to the reader.

How long will the Boston MFA Trustees, and the local community, stand for this policy? Do the Trustees realize how much mental, physical and financial damage they have caused the Mansoor Family, because of their neglect in this matter and the lack of integrity on the part of the management?

It is high time the MFA trustees investigate the Mansoor Amarna Collection affair. It is never too late to right a wrong. All it takes is one person of moral integrity on that Board of Trustees! Is there such a person? Time will tell.

Stay tuned. There is more to come about this subject.

Thank you for visiting our web site.

NOTE: The above quotes from Mr. Robinson’s" New MFA link seen to looted artifacts" ran on page A01 of the Boston Globe on 12/27/98








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