Recent links of note:
Sergiu Klainerman, Tablet Magazine
Institutions of higher education, a major source of pride for the U.S. social fabric, risk implosion as they claim to both defend free speech and uphold values of social justice. In many cases, those who defend free speech are being punished while the ideologues who threaten it are being celebrated. Sergiu Klainerman, a supporter and former Princeton colleague of Dr. Joshua Katz, reveals in Tablet his email correspondence with the Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber regarding his appeal for an investigation on behalf of Dr. Katz. In these emails, Eisgruber implies that free speech protections apply only to his cabal of university ideologues. The emails also display Eisgruber’s complete lack of transparency regarding how the university handled their appeal committee’s recommendation of an independent investigation into the matter.
“Investigators Say Collector Had Suspect Art and Lots of Chutzpah”
Julia Jacobs and Tom Mashberg, The New York Times
Georges Lotfi, an art dealer who informed New York City’s Art Trafficking Unit and helped museums like the Met identify and return looted works from antiquity, has a warrant out for his arrest for dealing stolen art. While Lotfi was advising law enforcement for decades, he was also trafficking looted antiquities. It appears he intended his advisory role to act as a distraction from his own antiquity-laundering operation. Many of his trafficked antiquities have suspicious records of ownership going back to Lebanon’s civil war. Issues for Lotfi began when the ATU investigated and seized three marble antiquities (collectively valued at over $20 million) that he claimed to have legitimately bought from a “well-known” and “licensed” Lebanese dealer during the conflict. One of these stolen works, a Greek marble sculpture of a bull’s head from Sidon, was on active display at the Met in 2017.
“Tehran museum unveils western art masterpieces hidden for decades”
Associated Press in Tehran, The Guardian
Large crowds of Iranian youth have flocked to a new exhibition of Western art at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, built by Mohammad Reza Shah. Despite the hard anti-West line of Iranian leadership, the museum for the first time has brought out important works by a long list of Western artists such as Sol LeWitt, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol. These works had been hidden away in the museum’s vault since clerics banned the display of Western art following the 1979 revolution. The popularity of the exhibition serves as a testament to the power and perseverance of individual expression, even in places where expression is greatly restricted. For many young Iranians, this is the first exposure to such art in person.