Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The 1993 furniture scandal.

Laws created by the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney legitimize the sell-off, giveaway and destruction of paintings, sculptures, cultural objects, furniture, portraits, silver, etc. from Canada's national museums, official residences and embassies.
Canada's movable history is being sold, given away or destroyed, thanks to The Museums Act,The Surplus Crown Assets Act, The Royal Canadian Mint Act and The National Capital Act.

The Royal Canadian Mint has the power to melt down coins, medals, tokens, plaques...made with gold, silver and other precious metals. How convenient for the Royal Canadian Mint, to be right next door to the Canadian War Museum, a building that was filled with  precious metals, and precious memories:
The former Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

I truly believe that Canada's Coat of Arms plaques were melted down by the Mint; they were made with real silver, gold and platinum; and thousands were stripped from government buildings that the Mulroney government privatized. In 1993, The Surplus Crown Assets Act was amended "To provide departments with additional options for the disposal of surplus movable assets."
According to pages 3 and 4 of the Stevie Cameron book "On The Take", this is what happened to furniture, paintings, sculptures, china... when Brian Mulroney left 24 Sussex Drive in 1993:
     "To store the furniture left behind in Ottawa, the National Capital Commission rented two bays of a warehouse from local developer Perez/Bramalea for $3,600  a month; the space was private and air-conditioned, featured its own washroom, and had twenty-four hour security....From April 4 to October 30, 1993, (the moving company) made at least thirty-one trips with seventy-two vehicles, from cars to tractor-trailers. Some trips  were to or from the official residences to pack and move goods; others were from the warehouse to Montreal. They booked ninety-five workers over the same period to pack 110 china barrels, 80 tea chests, 42 wardrobe cartons, and 768 standard cartons, from small ones for knick-knacks to large ones for paintings and antiques. The movers also built 23 specially designed wooden crates. They used 2,000 pounds of corrugated paper, 930 pounds of newsprint, and 695 rolls of bubble wrap."

For years, the people of Canada have been promised a new Portrait Gallery, preferably in the former American Embassy on Wellington Street, across from the Parliament Buildings. The paintings are supposedly being stored in a warehouse in Gatineau. Every so often, I read about Canadian paintings being sold  at auction houses in New York City and Toronto, Ontario. Recently, The Hon. John Baird stopped a plan to sell 22 valuable paintings from Canadian embassies.
-The Canadian Broadcasting Company is giving away/selling/trashing its entire archive of LP's and CD's, thousands of recordings. Original recordings are extremely valuable, especially since the creation of YouTube, and museums devoted to music history. The CBC believes that digital versions of music are comparable to vinyl. Really?
Universal Music Group and Warner Brothers know that original albums are priceless, the entire CBC collection is probably being funnelled to a multinational music corporation.
-Much of the irreplaceable material stored at Library and Archives Canada is being sold/given away/trashed, because the government is converting  the collections to a digital format that can be accessed on the Internet.
-The Canadian Museum of Civilization already has a virtual museum: "The Corporation is currently working on the development of a "virtual museum". The Museum of New France will be in digital format, accessed through the World Wide Web (Internet)." (from: Page 7 of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Annual Report -1995/1996).
-Most of the paintings in Canada's museums will be photographed, and the images  placed on the "Virtual Museum of Canada" website, go to virtualmuseum.ca. Meanwhile, original paintings will be sold at the Sotheby's or Christie's auction houses in New York City and Toronto; or smuggled out of Canada in diplomatic pouches or semi-trailer trucks. Or perhaps the paintings are part of a "travelling exhibition" that returns to this country with half of its cargo missing.
I believe that most of the original portraits in the Gatineau warehouse are gone, that's why  there will never be a National Portrait Gallery.
The recently demolished Lorne Building in Ottawa opened in 1960, and housed the National Gallery of Canada:
1974 - Bust of Urban Vili by Bernini (1598-1680) is purchased.
1984 - The Gallery acquires "The Virgin and the Christ Child" (c. 1518-1520) by Flemish artist Bernard van Orley.
1986 - The National Gallery received a major gift from Marc Chagall; and 550 prints and 11 drawings from Felix Quinet.
1989 - The National Gallery of Canada moves from Lorne Street to Sussex Drive. The Gallery receives a huge, pure silver tea set from the Birk's Family, a "gift to all Canadians". I believe this gift to all Canadians was melted down by the Royal Canadian Mint.
June 1991 - The people of Canada paid $3.45 million dollars for Guido Reni's "Jupiter and Europa (c. 1636).
The Auditor General of Canada, the RCMP, Interpol and international art experts should go to the Gatineau warehouse and all the museums in Ottawa, to see if artwork, gold, cultural artifacts... owned by the Crown have vanished, or ended up in a foreign country or a private collection.
I want to see real paintings hanging on the walls of our museums...I don't want to see virtual images at virtualmuseum.ca.
How stupid do you think we are, you thieves, you scoundrels.

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