Liz Alderman of the New York Times has reported the very sad story that Radu Dogaru claims that she burned 7 paintings stolen from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam. If this is true, then the world has sustained an irreplaceable loss. When the Afghanistan Taliban destroyed the Buddha Statues in Bamiyan Valley, I was sick. Napolean’s Army took pot shots at the nose of the Great Sphinx in Egypt, permanently disfiguring one of the wonders of the earth.
The destruction of art happens a lot more often than you think. I was in someone’s home last year. The lady had died and the family was cleaning out her things. For days, her relatives tossed artworks and antiques into dumpsters while workmen stood to one side and scratched their heads. I hope they rescued some of it after they towed the full dumpsters away. More than one person pointed out to the family that these were not worthless pieces. Some pieces belonged in a museum.
The family was angry with their dead relative. Angry people make stupid decisions. It is pointless to say somebody should do something. As comedian Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”