Future of African museums
In the May 6 Monitor Weekly cover story, “The art of the steal,” Kristen Chick and Ryan Lenora Brown write of African museums that are not as “grand” as their European counterparts – including the National Museum in Benin City, which “has only three small galleries ... subject to the whims of a mercurial electrical grid.”
African governments have had difficulty fitting modern museums into their budgets because they have more urgent priorities. As Western institutions consider repatriating expropriated art, they should establish “sister” relationships with African museums and cultural agencies. This sibling association must not be in name only; it should be backed by substantial technical and financial support.
Africans deserve highly modern museums that are full members of the international art community and capable of preserving historic work. This is the best form of justice for the misdeeds of the past.
Modernized African museums could enable art exchange not limited to African pieces. At the same moment a young student might look with wonder upon an African statue on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, his or her counterpart in Nairobi could be admiring a work by Jackson Pollock or Georgia O’Keeffe.
These art exchanges could build mutual cultural respect and stronger international friendships – all peoples of the world speak the language of beauty.
Ambassador Herman J. Cohen
Team owner earnings
Regarding the May 13 cover story, “Do they make too much?,” in the Monitor Weekly: I am not sure if professional athletes are overpaid based on Shawn Klein’s quoted economic argument regarding the relative scarcity of their services.
However, it seems that the team owners are protected by the monopolist structure of their franchises, and they do make too much money. They should no longer be allowed to extort taxpayer subsidies by playing cities against each other to renovate and build their sport stadiums and entice their teams to stay.
Colleen Hartmon Bollom
St. Paul, Minnesota
I don’t like the changes to the Monitor Weekly, I love them! As a longtime subscriber, this is the first redesign I’ve taken to immediately. The Monitor was always readable, but I enjoy a new flow in going through an issue, and a subtle ease while taking it all in. Very well done!