Orlando Museum of Art CEO out of job after FBI raid

Orlando Museum of Art CEO out of job after FBI raid



RELEASED AT A NEWS CONFERENCE PLANNED FOR THIS AFTERNOON. ALSO DEVELOPING TODAY THE DIRECTOR OF THE ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ART IS OUT, AFTER THE FBI RAIDED A CONTROVERSIAL EXHIBIT LAST WEEK. WESH 2’S MARLEI MARTINEZ IS LIVE AT THE ART MUSEUM WITH A CLOSER LOOK AT THE FALLOUT. MARLEI? MARLEI: THIS ALL HAS TO DO WITH THE CONTROVERSIAL BASQUIAT EXHIBIT THAT THE DIRECTOR UNVEILED IN FEBRUARY. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, IT CAME UNDER THE MICROSCOPE, AFTER QUESTIONS OF WHETHER IT WAS AUTHENTIC. AND LATE LAST NIGHT, THE MUSEUM ANNOUNCED DIRECTOR WHO DEFENDED THE WORKS, IS OUT OF THE JOB. LAST FRIDAY, THE FBI RAIDED THE ORLANDO ART MUSEUM, SEIZING MORE THAN TWO DOZEN PAINTING ATTRIBUTED TO ARTIST JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR AUTHENTICITY. THE ART MUSEUM SAID THEY WERE COMPLYING WITH AN FBI WARRANT, THAT NO ONE ON THE MUSEUM’S STAFF HAS BEEN ARRESTED. AND IN A STATEMENT ADDED, IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT WE STILL HAVE NOT BEEN LED TO BELIEVE THE MUSEUM HAS BEEN OR IS THE SUBJECT OF ANY INVESTIGATION. BACK IN FEBRUARY, JUST A WEEK AFTER THE MUSEUM UNVEILED THE EXHIBIT DIRECTOR AARON DE GROFT SPOKE WITH US, QUICKLY DEFENDED THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE PAINTINGS. AND THEN JUST PAST 11:00 TUESDAY NIGHT, THE MUSEUM’S BOARD CHAIR SAID THEY ARE EXTREMELY CONCERNED ABOUT SEVERAL ISSUES WITH THE EXHIBITION, INCLUDING THE RECENT REVELATION OF AN INAPPROPRIATE E-MAIL CORRESPONDENCE SENT TO ACADEMIA CONCERNING THE AUTHENTICATION OF THE ART — SOME THE STATEMENT OF THE ARTWORK. CONTINUES ON TO SAY, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, AARON DE GROFT IS NO LONGER DIRECTOR AND CEO OF ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ART. THE BOARD CHAIR ALSO SAI

Orlando Museum of Art CEO out of job after FBI raid

The Orlando Museum of Art’s CEO and director is out of a job following the FBI’s raid of the museum last week. Aaron De Groft was let go and Joann Walfish, who has previously served as CFO, has been appointed interim COO. “The Orlando Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees is extremely concerned about several issues with regard to the Heroes and Monsters exhibition, including the recent revelation of an inappropriate email correspondence sent to academia concerning the authentication of some of the artwork in the exhibition,” the museum wrote in a statement. “We have launched an official process to address these matters, as they are inconsistent with the values of this institution, our business standards, and our standards of conduct.”During the raid last week, the FBI seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat amid questions about their authenticity.Aaron De Groft defended the artwork amid questions the New York Times first published in February.He also added that it is not the museum’s job to authenticate art.“They came to us authenticated by the top specialists on Basquiat,” De Groft told WESH in February.

The Orlando Museum of Art’s CEO and director is out of a job following the FBI’s raid of the museum last week.

Aaron De Groft was let go and Joann Walfish, who has previously served as CFO, has been appointed interim COO.

“The Orlando Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees is extremely concerned about several issues with regard to the Heroes and Monsters exhibition, including the recent revelation of an inappropriate email correspondence sent to academia concerning the authentication of some of the artwork in the exhibition,” the museum wrote in a statement. “We have launched an official process to address these matters, as they are inconsistent with the values of this institution, our business standards, and our standards of conduct.”

During the raid last week, the FBI seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat amid questions about their authenticity.

Aaron De Groft defended the artwork amid questions the New York Times first published in February.

He also added that it is not the museum’s job to authenticate art.

“They came to us authenticated by the top specialists on Basquiat,” De Groft told WESH in February.

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