From the Maine Antique Digest. There are a number of comments from Anne Ackerson, director of the Museum Association of New York, including the following:
1. She says that when the regents proposed criteria in the past, "they wrote a very restrictive number of criteria that were not really helpful and really did not mirror the professional practice across the country." The new criteria -- which, as I've said, allow museums to deaccession whenever they feel like it (all they have to say is they're "refining their collection" -- and what deaccessioning doesn't do that?) -- do mirror the professional practice, and therefore "people are happy."
2. And why did a "restrictive number of criteria" make people unhappy? Because there's absolutely nothing wrong with deaccessioning: "We want to make it very clear that deaccessioning is not a dirty word, that it's a legitimate activity."
So it's not that once an object falls under the aegis of a museum, it is held in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations.
And it's not that if museums are allowed to sell works from their collections, somebody will say, Why should I give this to you? What guarantee do I have that you're not going to sell this tomorrow?
Those are not concerns at all and I don't know where you ever got the idea that they were.
The real issue is "the whole use of proceeds from the sale of deaccession material." That's "where a lot more education needs to take place."
And what that education consists of is repeating, over and over again, that it's fine to use the proceeds to buy more art but evil, repulsive, a crime against humanity, etc. to use the proceeds for any other purpose, up to and including avoiding having to shut your doors.
Why is that the case?
Because once an object falls under the aegis of a museum, it is held in the public trust, to be accessible to present and future generations.
And if you sell it, somebody will say, Why should I give this to you? What guarantee do I have that you're not going to sell this tomorrow?
Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.