Aboriginal art wrangle

Aboriginal Art Directory | 27.08.09

News source: The Mercury

ACADEMICS have defended opposition to the sale of two art works, rejecting claims of political correctness gone mad.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre opposed the planned auction of the busts of famous Tasmanian Aborigines Truganini and Woureddy on the basis of cultural sensitivity.

The busts, which were expected to fetch up to $700,000, were withdrawn from sale just hours before Monday night's auction at Sotheby's in Melbourne.

The busts, sculpted by Benjamin Law in the 1830s, are owned by a New South Wales family.

The TAC's protest against the sale attracted scathing criticism from Mercury readers, who described it as "ridiculous" and "political correctness gone wrong".

"These figurines are art -- not Aboriginal relics. You could more properly say they're relics from British early settlement and definitely not Aboriginal art," one reader wrote on the Mercury website.

URL: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2009/08/26/93241_tasmania-news.html

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