The National Gallery of Canada has got itself a bit of a controversy.
National Gallery director Marc Mayer must be a very important person.
Because when the people by way of the media … who pay his salary and own the building in which he works and own the painting La Tour Eiffel and elect the minister to whom gallery has some kind relation to (vague as it may be) … come calling, Mayer doesn’t answer the phone, his emails, refuses to be interviewed and his spokeswoman says the public will be allowed to know about their painting and its future “in due course”. Mayer must be one big guy. He’s more important than his collective bosses, the citizens of Canada.
Mayer calls this professionalism because he doesn’t know the details and doesn’t know where the public’s painting is so speaking to the question would be unprofessional.
It’s an odd kind of professionalism that says being uninformed on an important issue is unprofessional. Some of we lesser people who pay his salary might suggest that he become informed in a professional way.
Of course this isn’t professionalism. It’s stonewalling because Mayer and the gallery are embarrassed about the botch of the sale of La Tour Eiffel. It’s doubtful that Mayer becoming informed would pose a threat to national security or that state secrets are involved so perhaps he should tell we lowly citizens to whom public servants are supposed to serve what’s going on.
But Mayer is too big for that.
So if we philistines might intrude, perhaps Heritage Minister Melanie Joli or the prime minister himself might encourage the director to get informed and tell the public. Maybe they could suggest this to the board.
And if he doesn’t, then maybe the board should show the director the door.
But they better grease the door sills thoroughly because there’s a hell of an ego to squeeze through there.