In archaeologist Malcolm Bell’s review of Chasing Aphrodite in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, he echoes our premise that museums have destroyed our knowledge of the past by fueling the trade in looted antiquities. “A fabric of lies was woven around artifacts whose real history was suppressed or unknown,” Bell writes.
But controversially, Bell also suggests we “undervalue” True’s role as a reformer of the illicit antiquities trade, concluding: “Her contributions far outweigh her mistakes, and were I today to be asked to recommend someone to fill a major museum position, she would be the first person to come to my mind.”
One critic has called Bell “a liar,” while another says Bell “has an agenda” but calls his review “informed and informative.”
We’re preparing a response to Bell’s review. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Weigh in with the poll below, and feel free to ellaborate on your answer in the comments section: