In the NY Times‘ “Talk to the Newsroom” feature, assistant managing editor Richard Berke writes:
Michael Kimmelman, our brilliant Berlin-based chief art critic,
recently asked whether he could make a costly—and arduous—trip to
Baghdad to review the national art museum there. The answer was, Yes!
We have still to work out the details, but how many news organizations
these days are even able to consider such an expense—much less have
a critic based in Berlin in the first place?
Wow, that NY Times must be flush with money! And what other NYC-based publication would have its “chief art critic” based in Germany, galluping all over Europe? (Oh no, not another of those equine metaphors!) Shouldn’t Roberta Smith be named “acting chief art critic” while Michael prances around the globe?
Now that they’re in on the secret that Kimmelman may be sent to cover the newly reopened museum in Baghdad, other editors have a heads-up and can try to dispatch someone to make that “costly and arduous” trip first—maybe even someone with deep expertise in ancient Near Eastern antiquities. Or does Abdul-Zahra al-Talqani, media director of Iraq’s office of tourism and archaeological affairs, have a Times-first policy too?
While the Times labors to arrange Michael’s flight and hotel, cyberspace travelers can go right now to the (sort of) reopened museum, via its partially opened website (click links on left) and this CNN video.