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Published:February 4th, 2006 13:29 EST
Vero Beach, FL. - Degas Gate Museum Piece Fake

Vero Beach, FL. - Degas Gate Museum Piece Fake

By R.J. Smith

Art is the cornerstone to any great civilization.  Without it, we might as well be living in trees and throwing our neatly shaped excrement at each other.  It is meant to express the inner most feeling of the artist who created it.  To falsify a painting or sculpture is to steal its very soul. 

That is exactly what the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Vero Beach, Florida, has been accused of with an exhibit it has used to draw attention to its 20-year anniversary.  The museum has been displaying elegant bronze sculptures they claim are by the artists Edgar Degas and Alberto Giacometti.  The small statues have been a huge attraction point for visitors of the museum. 

However, Gary Arseneau, a Florida art analyst, who has done exhaustive research on Degas, Rodin and other artists, says otherwise.  The pieces are Fake as a 3$ bill " according to the researcher. 

He points out that the Degas pieces in particular are fake, due to the fact that Mr. Degas never used bronze as a medium.  "Degas never approved the pieces, never saw them, never signed them, never touched them ", Arseneau said.  "If he is creating art while he`s dead, I am eager to see what he creates next."

The officials in question quickly shot back.  The director of the museum, Lucinda H. Gedeon, stated earlier this week, The practice of posthumously reproducing artists` works in foundries was commonplace in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and accepted by art historians and experts ".

"There is no issue of fakes, no issue of forgery, no issue of defrauding anybody," The museums director said, "Are they posthumous?  Yes they are. "

The previous statement makes no sense.  As Mr. Arseneau said before, it is not very easy for an artist to create works after they have already died.  Hell, I would go as far as to say it is damn near impossible.   

Frankly, the rhetoric this museum director is using is an affront to the entire community they have duped.  She is exactly what is wrong with this world.  Instead of admitting to what the man who knows more than her said is true, she has tried to put a play on words to get out of the hot seat.  

If it is not Degas, then tell the people it is not.  Simple.  Stop wasting our time and insulting our intelligence. 

Source: VBPJ

Please visit the Vero Beach Press-Journal to see the original story:

Expert claims Vero museum pieces are fake

It seems a story I did got me noticed recently.  Not only noticed, but also threatened by corporate lawyers with dollar signs in their eyes.  They were angered because, well, frankly, my story was written better and more people have seen it. 

The corporation in question,
Vero Beach Publications, claimed that my story was just short of plagiarism.  That is a serious charge in this business. I write my own stories. Sure, I may get my facts from other pieces at times, but I have never stolen so much as a line in my life. The quotes may be the same; However, I used the quotes in a different context than the original.  The two pieces are from a completely different point of view.  One is a news story; the other is an editorial. 

Then, in came the big bad lawyers.  They huffed, they puffed, and they blew my e-mail address down (so they think).  If it was simply credit they wanted as a source article, I would have been fine with it, but they wanted my article replaced by a link to their piece every place it was posted.  The article at the site in question was not even posted by me.  They were trying to get publicity by stealing my audience and implying that I was a plagiarist.  It seems that they never wanted anyone to see that an amateur, volunteer journalist can put together an article in his sleep better than their writers on salary can do wide awake. 

Well, what now?  I do not have the money or the time to fight a corporate legal machine who tried to punk me for a huge chunk of my readers.  I am just like everyone else - struggling to pay rent while juggling a full time job with my aspiring career as a writer.  One would halfway expect me to go away quickly and quietly.  That is, if one did not know me.

I say we settle this the old-fashioned way, in which I propose a contest.  To Vero Beach Publications: choose a subject and your best writer.  Give him all your infinite resources and extensive list of contacts, travel expenses, and whatever else you yuppies feed off.  Have him or her write the best piece of their lives.  Then, I will use my old beat-up Logitech keyboard and slow internet connection to let you know firsthand the definition of the word pWn3zd ". 

No corporate ***hole is going to push me around - not today, nor any day.  If you find that my stories are more popular and entertaining than yours, then give me a job.  Do not try to sue me.  Does this whole situation not prove that I could be more valuable to your small paper than the writers could you have working for you now?