Mike O’Hare — who will soon be posting here in his own name — writes:
A few days before the hurricane, I reflected in the Boston Globe that increasing concentration of irreplaceable art in major museums put our cultural patrimony at ill-advised risk of terrorist attack with minimal compensating advantages.
Unnecessarily concentrating treasures in this way, especially study and research collections not on display, puts them at other risks as well. The New Orleans Museum of Art is on a high part of the park, and according to the New York Times’s sad catalog of cultural and artistic losses , “seven staff members … including security guards and engineers, stayed behind Tuesday to protect the collection and were presumably there through the week.”
(More professionals being professional; I hope some foundry is making medals around the clock, because we’ll need a lot in the next few months.)
But the Times also reports “…the other major concern was basement storage spaces. There was only enough fuel for the emergency generators, which operate sump pumps and climate control systems, to last until the middle of last week….If water invades and the pumps fail, it could threaten thousands of photographs and prints.”
Basement storage, in New Orleans? Why was that stuff even in the same building?