Orlando Museum of Art CEO loses job after FBI raid

Orlando Museum of Art CEO loses job after FBI raid

Orlando Museum of Art CEO loses job after FBI raid



STEWART: TODAY THE DIRECTOR OF THE ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ART IS WITHOUT A JOB. THIS LATEST DEVELOPMENT COMES AFTER MONTHS OF SPECULATION ABOUT THE REALITY OF A CONTROVERSIAL EXHIBITION AT THE MUSEUM. MICHELLE: LAST WEEK WE SHOWED YOU THAT THE FBI HAS CLOSED THE MUSEUM BY SEIZING DOZENS OF BASQUIAT PAINTING. NOW, THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE MUSEUM SAYS EXTREMELY CONCERNED. WESH 2’S MARLEI MARTINEZ HAS THE NEWEST DETAILS ON WHAT THE COUNCIL CALLS AN INAPPROPRIATE EMAIL. MARLEI. >> I SPENT THE DAY CONTACTING THE FBI AND THE US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SENT ME A COPY OF THE 41-PAGE SEARCH WARRANT THAT PERMITTED THE FBI TO SHUT DOWN THE MUSEUM. AT THE MICROSCOPE, THESE 25 PAINTINGS THAT THE ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ART UNVEILED IN THE SPRING AS THE FIRST PUBLIC VISIT OF THIS JEAN MICHEL BASQUIAT EXHIBITION. LAST FRIDAY THE FBI MADE A CLOSURE AT THE MUSEUM, SEIZING THE WORK AFTER CONCERNS OVER AUTHENTICITY. A WEEK AFTER THE EXHIBITION OPENED, MUSEUM DIRECTOR AARON DE GROFT TALKED TO US, QUICKLY DEFENDING THE EXHIBITS. >> WE HAVE NO DOUBT. WE ARE EXPECTING IT. THEY ARE ORIGINAL. >> HE SPOKE AFTER THE NEW YORK TIMES PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE REALITY OF THE ARTWORK. >> IT IS NOT OMA’S JOB TO AUTHENTICATE ART. THEY HAVE COME TO US AUTHENTICATED BY THE BEST BASQUIAT SPECIALISTS. IN FBI SEARCH WARRANT OBTAINED BY WESH 2 NEWS, INVESTIGATIVE SPECIAL AGENT SAYS ART TEACHER WAS PAID $60,000 TO WRITE A REPORT ON THE COLLECTION, BUT THE TEACHER LATER DISCOVERED HIS REPORT WAS USED ​​PUBLICLY WITH EXHIBITION. SO SHE EMAILED THE MUSEUM DIRECTOR THAT SHE IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO AUTHENTICATE UNKNOWN WORKS BY BASQUIAT IN ANY WAY AND DOES NOT WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS SHOW. THE NEXT DAY DE GROFT RESPONDED BY SAID YOU WANT US TO PUT THERE YOU HAVE $60,000 TO WRITE THIS? SO OK. SHUT UP. YOU HAVE TAKEN THE MONEY. STOP BEING HOLIER THAN YOU. BE QUIET NOW IS MY BEST ADVICE. THESE ARE REAL AND LEGITIMATE. YOU KNOW THAT. YOU ARE THREATENING THE WRONG PEOPLE. >> I THINK IT’S A SHAME. >> I SPOKEN WITH ROBERT WITTMAN, THE FOUNDER OF THE FBI’S ARTISTIC CRIME TEAM. NOW THAT THE FBI HAS THE PAINTINGS IN HAND, WITTMAN SAYS EXPERTS WILL LEGALLY EXAMINE THEM. >> LOOKING FOR THINGS LIKE PAINTINGS THAT DID NOT EXIST IN 1982, WHICH WERE USED AT A LATER DATE, LOOKING FOR BACKGROUND, BACKDROPS THAT ARE NOT AGE APPROPRIATE. >> WITTMAN SAYS FAKES ARE HARMFUL TO THE ART WORLD. >> I WOULD SAY THAT 75% OF THE WORLD’S ARTISTIC CRIME INDUSTRY, WHICH IS A $6 BILLION INDUSTRY, DEALS IN FRAUD, FORGERY AND COUNTERFEITING. NOT FLY. IT’S FRAUDS, FAKES AND >> — AND FAKES.

Orlando Museum of Art CEO loses job after FBI raid

The CEO and director of the Orlando Museum of Art is out of a job following the FBI raid on the museum last week. Aaron De Groft was made redundant and Joann Walfish, who previously served as chief financial officer, was appointed interim chief operating officer. “The Orlando Museum of Art Board of Trustees is extremely concerned about several issues regarding the Heroes and Monsters exhibit, including the recent revelation of inappropriate email correspondence sent to academia regarding the authentication of some of the works of art from the exhibition,” the museum wrote in a statement. “We have initiated a formal process to address these matters, as they are inconsistent with the values ​​of this institution, our business standards and our standards of conduct.” In last week’s raid, the FBI seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat amid questions about their authenticityAaron De Groft defended the artwork amid questions which the New York Times first published in February. top Basquiat specialists,” De Groft told WESH in February.

The CEO and director of the Orlando Museum of Art is out of a job following the FBI raid on the museum last week.

Aaron De Groft was made redundant and Joann Walfish, who previously served as chief financial officer, was appointed interim chief operating officer.

“The Orlando Museum of Art Board of Trustees is extremely concerned about several issues regarding the Heroes and Monsters exhibit, including the recent revelation of inappropriate email correspondence sent to academia regarding the authentication of some of the works of art from the exhibition,” the museum wrote in a statement. “We have initiated a formal process to address these matters, as they are inconsistent with the values ​​of this institution, our business standards and our standards of conduct.”

During last week’s raid, the FBI seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat amid questions about their authenticity.

Aaron De Groft defended the artwork amid questions The New York Times first published in February.

He also added that it is not the job of the museum to authenticate the art.

“They came to us authenticated by the best Basquiat specialists,” De Groft told WESH in February.

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