Art Museum Gets a Sleuth

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The Cleveland Museum of Art has used dollars from a discretionary fund to hire a "historical provenance" expert. Victoria Sears Goldman — of the New York Sears Goldmans — fresh off her PhD at Princeton, will bid her big city law firm adieu and come to Cleveland with hopes of tracking down sordid art histories. She begins at the Museum March 4.

Museum Director David Franklin told the PD's Steven Litt that transparency is a priority for him. He wants Sears Goldman to "expand the museum's knowledge" of the ownership of pieces in its permanent collection, and to coordinate the dissemination of information to the public.

There are 40,000 objects in the museum's collection, and little is known about many of them. Sears Goldman has worked with organizations like the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, so we're hoping she uncovers a scintillating scandal. We'll be following her progress meticulously at Scene.

Franklin gets $125,000 a year from a special discretionary fund donated in 2011. This appointment marks the first time he's tapped those dollars.


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