Over the past few days, the New York Times has revealed that unethical practices have colored the “Sensation” exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The director of the museum, Arnold L. Lehman, pressed both Charles Saatchi, the owner of the art, and Christie’s, the prestigious auction house, for financing (the latter was given perks for doing so). Indeed, museum officials also raised money from art dealers who represent several of the artists in the exhibition. As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars exchanged hands.
Catholic League president William Donohue called for Mr. Lehman’s dismissal today:
“Arnold L. Lehman should be terminated for violating the public trust. Not only did he give the green light to a gross exhibition that featured a frontal assault on Roman Catholicism, he engineered a boatload of money from those who stood to personally profit from this venture. Like all cabals, this one reeks with corruption, making it impossible for the public to have confidence in Mr. Lehman’s leadership.
“The fact that museum officials literally lied to the press about the role of Charles Saatchi is the icing on the cake. Moreover, Saatchi was no dupe: he forked over $160,000 to the museum and then tried to conceal his ‘philanthropy’ from the public. But had ‘Charlie Hustle’ been a pimp for the Church—by sponsoring reverential art—everyone who is now willing to turn his head would instead be calling for Charlie’s head.
“We will write to the trustees of the museum requesting that they issue Mr. Lehman a pink slip. If this doesn’t work, we will explore other avenues.”