Mark Elliott, the sitting Chairman of the Orlando Museum of Art Board of Trustees issued the following statement in response to this week’s news concerning an ongoing investigation by the FBI into the provenance of the “Heroes & Monsters” exhibition the museum hosted in 2022.
The California Department of Justice announced this past Tuesday that it had charged a man for making false statements that the art in the exhibition had been attributed to the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and that the investigation was ongoing.
In response, the following statement was issued:
“Today we learned of the plea agreement entered in connection with the ongoing investigation involving last year’s “Heroes and Monsters” exhibition as it was announced publicly. The Orlando Museum of Art awaits the investigation’s conclusion and hopes it brings justice to all victims.
In the wake of this ongoing investigation, the Orlando Museum of Art has recommitted itself to its mission to provide excellence in the visual arts with its exhibitions, collections, and educational programming.
We have taken and will continue to take actions that realign the institution with its mission. These actions include supporting employees impacted by the exhibition and investigation, adopting new personnel policies with enhanced whistleblower protections, meeting with many community members and leaders, receiving governance training for the board, and working with the American Alliance of Museums to repair the institution’s standing.
Where such actions can be disclosed publicly, they have been and will continue to be.
The Museum is eager for the DOJ to continue its investigation and hold those who committed crimes responsible. When this investigation is closed, and charges are brought, the Museum looks forward to sharing our story regarding the works in question.
The Orlando Museum of Art remains grateful to its employees, supporters, and community.”– MARK ELLIOTT, CHAIRMAN, ORLANDO MUSEUM OF ART BOARD OF TRUSTEES