Our irreproducible humanity

Leaders of the museum and art gallery world have suggested that reproductions of artistic masterpieces should be put on display while the originals are stored out of sight. This would preserve such treasures from deterioration or the risk of theft, while enabling the public to view great works which are deemed too fragile to be displayed. Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum and the National Gallery, says modern reproduction techniques could enable people to see, for example, The Family of Darius Before Alexander by Paolo Veronese with…

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In the Moral Maze with art and the transgressive artist

On BBC RAdio’s The Moral Maze this week, Claire Fox, Matthew Taylor, Anne McElvoy and I discussed art and the artist. Can their moral worth be separated? Our peg was “Leaving Neverland”, a two-part TV documentary which detailed child sex abuse claims against the singer Michael Jackson (whether Jackson’s music can be termed “art” is debatable, but anyway). The renewed allegations have prompted a debate about whether we should stop listening to his music. Some believe a boycott takes an important moral stand against the late singer’s alleged crimes. To…

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