Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Caretaker

There is a very good RTE radio documentary on tonight about how Dr David James systematically plundered the treasures of Dublin's Chester Beatty Library.
My old friend Pat Donlon played a large part in exposing the crime, and she features in the programme.
The equivocations of James' cronies are very enlightening.
Their idea seemed to be that somehow the quality of the Chester Beatty collection was wasted on Dublin's plebeians and that may have induced David James to want to sell select items to more appreciative buyers.
Didn't seem to occur to them that he might just be a greedy thief.
Well worth a listen.


Daniel said...

I'll have to try to listen via Internet. The Chester Beatty Library was one of my favorite stops when I was in Dublin. I was blown away by the Islamic book art in the collection. I can't speak as to whether the collection is wasted on Dubliners, but it wasn't wasted on this lowly Savannahian. Can you believe the shamelessness?

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Daniel
The Chester Beatty is an extraordinary museum, isn't it?

Do give the programme a listen.
He stole several million ( in today's money) pounds worth of pages from the collection, and only got twenty two months in prison.
We have a funny attitude to sentencing for White collar crime here.....There is an idea that the shame of being exposed is punishment enough if you have some standing in society.
I'd have thrown the book at him.

Such a Wondrous Place this Faery Space said...

You have a blog! Fabulous! Glad to follow! Take care and many blessings.

PJ Lynch said...

Many thanks Amy, I hope you will find it interesting