Museum Security Network

REFUSAL OF INTELLECTUAL DIALOGUE: COMMENTS ON AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMES CUNO

REFUSAL OF INTELLECTUAL DIALOGUE: COMMENTS ON AN INTERVIEW WITH JAMES CUNO

The latest statements by the Director of the Art Institute of Chicago in an interview entitled “Treaty on antiquities hinders access for museums” cannot be simply ignored or dismissed (1). After all, James Cuno heads one of the leading museums in the West and is from an important city with a long established intellectual tradition, fine Law Schools and excellent faculties in the social sciences. His views should concern all of us even though his own institution, the Art Institute of Chicago has distanced itself from the views expressed in his book, Who Owns Antiquity? (2)

We have always assumed that the Western intellectual tradition is based on
dialogue, between scholars and writers expressing different views and not based
on a practice of repetition of mantras from a revered authority whose statements
are not subject to critical questioning because they constitute some revelation of
the truth from a divine source. Cuno in his previous article had based his main
argument on the tradition of the European Enlightenment. (3) One is therefore
astonished to recognize again that the Director of the Art Institute of Chicago in
his recent interview does not take into account the numerous criticisms that have
been made recently of his views. (4) …

Full text at:

http://groups.google.com/group/museum-security-network/browse_thread/thread/20205cd0f9163c97

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: