Inside Report (1)

Every day 5,000 to 6,000 Chinese line up to see an exhibition of American art from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts at the National Art Gallery in Peking. But a residue of bitterness remains from a contretemps over Chinese demands that the Boston museum withdraw 13 of the 70 paintings in the show.Insiders say the Chinese stance was not due to last-minute interference by party officials, but to suspicion within China's art establishment that the Boston museum took advantage of US government financing to send China a second-rate show.There is a Hopper but not the best Hopper, a Homer but not the best Homer, a Whistler but not the best Whistler.

The Chinese are hungry for Western art. But they would have liked the first government-sponsored showing of US art to represent the best available -- not paintings shipped off during the rebuilding of the gallery in which they are normally housed in Boston.m

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