September 20, 2004

A Witty Fellow

Lileks expounds upon the "the documents were fake but the story is true" argument:
"As the days begin to blur for Josh Howard, he embraces the same logic: 'So much of this debate has focused on the documents, and no one has really challenged the story. It's been frustrating to us to see all this reduced to a debate over little 'th's.'

"He’s not alone; many others have wondered why so much time is being spent on the “forgeries,” instead of the hypotheses they would prove, if they were true. So let me take another run at this. Imagine a CBS producer saying this in the Washington Post:

'We understand that there has been some controversy over the newly discovered Michelangelo painting featured in “60 Minutes” expose of curatorial malfeasance at the Metropolitan Museum. Some outside experts note that close analysis of the wood frame reveals the presense of modern staples, and while we agree this is curious – as are the words ‘Abiline Frame Shop’ engraved into the wood – it is hardly conclusive. Others have questioned the use of acrylic instead of oil paints, and the presence of nylon fibers embedded in the brushstrokes have led some to question whether the painting is indeed 500 years old. These are issues worth pursuing, and we will redouble our efforts. But it’s a little bit frustrating to see all this reduced to a debate over slivers and threads, instead of the real question, namely, how did Michelangelo’s “Madonna of of the Dealership” include a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air rendered with such astonishing detail, half a millennium before the car was designed? That’s the issue we think should be the focus of our attention.'"


No comments: