I normally tend to attack Government, but I have just come across an upcoming auction at Sotheby’s New York that proves that not all the work undertaken by our civil servants and agencies is marred by corruption. Who does not remember the polemic following Heritage Malta’s purchase of a Mattia Preti painting? On 25th January, Sotheby’s Master Painting and Sculptures Evening Sale will see the auction of Preti’s painting of Daniel Interpreting the Dream of King Nebuchadenezzar marked as Lot 37 and carrying an estimated price tag of between 177,410 euro and 266,000 euro.
Recalling the hell that broke out in the local media when Heritage Malta was accused of overpaying for Preti’s painting of Aleppe painting Campaspe, Alexander the Great’s Lover which it had purchased at 75,000 euro for the nation, Sotheby’s is proving that Heritage Malta bought the painting at the right price, if possibly, one below the normal price that Preti paintings sell overseas.
I have written a blog defending Heritage Malta. This is the second Preti painting going under the hammer in a year but our media is not interested in reporting these auctions which could be of direct interest to our country, given the fact that Preti lived in Malta for a good part of his life and he is one of our crowd pullers for the understanding tourist. This goes to show the great hypocrisy governing our media’s agenda and its care for the nation, particularly that segment of journalists that professes to be the oracle of truth. The fact is that this same media has long abandoned its conservative traits to join up with the pseudo liberals, with the result that it is portraying itself as arrogant, without any identity or element of professionalism. This same media refrains from reporting certain items of news value because it would be undermining the credibility of those who seek to give a political spin to cultural matters that should be kept out of politics altogether.
The local media’s attack on Heritage Malta of overpaying a Preti was a deliberate attempt to harm the good work of those employed at Heritage Malta, who dedicate their time and energy unconditionally for the benefit of our nation. I believe that the time has come for that same media that carried the attacks and all those who tried to harm the reputation of the person involved in purchasing Preti’s Apelle, to find the courage and have the honesty to apologise, starting from the PN itself for trying to gain mileage by giving a political twist to a matter which should have remained outside the sphere of politics. It seems to me that many of our media contributors are not mature enough to know when they should attack and when they should shut up.