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Albright-Knox Showdown Today

Here’s the update from today’s Buffalo News on the Albright-Knox deaccession battle, which was to move to the Erie County Legislature today.
Colin Dabkowski reports on further developments:
The Buffalo Art Keepers…plan to file a petition in State Supreme Court early next week to force the gallery to stop the sale….The litigation by Buffalo Art Keepers…plans to refer to a July 1987 version of the museum’s collections-management policy….That policy states that there should be “no sale of masterpieces; nor, in terms of our own collection, of very important works.”
In October, the Albright-Knox board voted unanimously to remove that clause, saying in meeting minutes released this month that “the ‘no masterpieces’ restriction in the current Collections Management Policy is deemed to have been overridden by the adoption of the [2001] Strategic Plan.”

Speaking of masterpiecies, the Benin bronze head of an Oba and the Aztec stone figure of the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue have recently been removed from the Collection Highlights page on the museum’s website, as predicted. After all, they’re at Sotheby’s, not in Buffalo.
Dabkowski also reports that Charles Banta, the museum’s board president, sent a letter to museum members declaring that the planned sale was “squarely within” the board’s legal province. Banta insisted that the board had acted legally and “its decision cannot be overturned by public referendum, by vote of the members or by a court of law.”
That remains to be seen.

an ArtsJournal blog