Sunday, November 26, 2006

Philadelphia may retain painting after all

The Eakins painting, the Gross Clinic, might stay in Philadelphia after all:

Mayor Street has nominated Thomas Eakins' masterpiece, The Gross Clinic, for protection under the city's historic preservation ordinance, noting the painting's deep historical and cultural resonance throughout Philadelphia, city officials said yesterday.

Designation as a "historic object,"... would prevent the painting from being altered or moved without the express approval of the Philadelphia Historical Commission. Its proposed sale by Thomas Jefferson University for $68 million ignited a burgeoning controversy. []

Stephanie Naidoff, city commerce director, said Street sent a letter to commission members on Friday requesting the designation for The Gross Clinic because he believes the painting is "a real treasure of Philadelphia."

"It's an icon of world art, but it is especially connected to Philadelphia, which has always been preeminent in medicine, and Dr. Gross was preeminent in his day," said Naidoff, referring to the surgeon at the center of the monumental canvas. "That's why the mayor requested this."

Samuel D. Gross was a renowned surgeon and educator at the university.

Courtesy of Phillyville, which has more information about the sale of the painting and links to other bloggers opposed to its sale.

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