Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald demonstrates some admirable foresightedness as he begins planning now for the relocation of Europe’s treasures:
When Eurabia is a fully-realized entity, what will become of European art? It’s never too early to start planning.
Memo to Philippe de Montebello: begin raising money now for that special “Louvre” wing of the Metropolitan that you are going to have to build in 10-20 years. It will require at least that time for all the planning. Actually not a wing — I’m afraid you are going to have to have a space as big, or even bigger than the Louvre, because everything is going to have to be flown out if it is not to offend Muslim sensibilities, and you know what Muslims do to statutes and paintings of living things, don’t you? And for the smaller museums, the Musee Guimet, the Musee Nissim Camondo, and all the rest — well, why not just reproduce them, as is, and place them in nice cities and towns around the country?
First we (and England) got Panofsky, and Friedmann, and Jakob Rosenberg, and Rudolph Wittkower, and E. H. Gombrich, and Ernst Kitzinger, and Gisela Richter and George Hanfmann and Rudolf Arnheim and so many others, and all of the people they helped to train, and the standards they helped to raise and, for a while, maintain — and now the art will soon be following.
Are we Americans lucky, or what?
Let’s take this idea for a walk, shall we?
The New Rijksmuseum might best be placed where there once stood Nieuw Amsterdam. Close to New York City, but not in it. Mamaroneck, Oyster Bay, Scarsdale so that first you can take in the Hals, Rembrandts, Ruisdaels, and the odd Vermeer, and then stop at well-advertised Zachy’s just before getting on the train to go back to the city.
The New Prado, possibly as a tribute to the general Hispanidad, would best be placed either in Miami, or possibly in Texas, or New Mexico. The wild West will come to mean a bit more than sagebrush and the Durango Kid. A little hint of Felipe Segundo right outside Albuquerque, or San Diego, would be most appropriate.
The New National Gallery? Virginia, definitely Virginia. But where? Southside Virginia, Brookneal, and a hint of David K. E. Bruce and the English-Speaking Union? Or better, and more accessible to Washington, would be the riding country, the land of Three-Day Eventing, and admirers of Charles Chenevix French. Yes, possibly Upperville would do for the New National Gallery. And docents, winsome female docents, all of them, please, definitely FFV (First Families of Virginia). Or, if you insist, a handful of interns as well from the Main Line, and the farther shores of Long Island (Jamestown will do).
The New Uffizi? Here we have a problem. I’ll leave this one up to you, dear reader. Where do you want to place all those sculptures, and paintings (say, of Guido da Montefeltro, or the Venus on a Half-Shell)which according to Sheik Al-Qaradawi’s handy guide to what is haram and what halal, cannot be permitted to exist unless they have been vandalized and defaced, so that they no longer can command respect — which respect would violate the laws of Allah.
Maybe we can cut a deal here, hmm? After all, Italy does contain 2/3 of the Western world’s art treasures. Without Italy, Western civilization is unthinkable (that can’t be said for Germany, I’m afraid, or for France). So let’s throw the rest of Eurabia completely to the wolves, but Italy must be spared and kept free from Islam. And we Americans will guarantee its security (as, for other reasons, we will guarantee that other essential component in the spiritual heritage of the Western world, Israel).
But if the Muslims prove implacable, then we will have to bring over the contents of the Uffizi, and whatever statues of Michelangelo, Donatello, and others are all over the place, in the Piazza della Signoria, in Rome, everywhere — lock, stock, and barrel, and offer them a refuge here. Possibly all those Americans now putting their tax-deductible dollars to work in the “Save Venice” Campaign, forgetting that the real sea that may swamp all of Italy, not just one city, consists of adherents of a grim ideology that commands the destruction of art works (and the recent destruction of Joseph’s Tomb and of the Bamiyan Buddhas were simply the most recent examples of 1400 years of such destruction of Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist artifacts and monuments).
Hanover Street and the North End in Boston being what they now are, with Big-Dig and gentrification changes in the works, one would have to opt for Little Italy and Mulberry Street. Yes, Gennaro, there is a Santa Claus — and everyone can now visit the Uffizi Without Leaving Home.
And someday someone will write a book about all the art treasures of Italy, kept from harm, as in some fabulous fable, by being housed in the warm embrace of Little Italy, and Big America, the country with a heart. It will be a simple book, with pictures of some of the sculptures and paintings, carefully labelled (Mich-el-ang-e-lo), designed to introduce young children to the wonders of the fine arts. And that future book will be called:
“And To Think that I Saw It On Mulberry Street.”
Oops. I think that title’s been taken.
As Joe E. Brown once said, nobody’s perfect.