The typically venerable Smithsonian Institution has had its fair share of controversy in recent times. Just last year the Smithsonian came under fire for its deal with the cable company Showtime, which threatened to limit access to the largely publicly funded Institution for scholars and filmmakers. Just yesterday, the current secretary Lawrence M. Small announced his resignation amid revelations over extravagant pay and personal expenses more or less covered with tax-payer dollars. Call it the Enron of the art world!
“The governing board of the Smithsonian Institution announced Monday that it had accepted the resignation of its top official, Lawrence M. Small, after an internal audit showing that the museum complex had paid for his routine use of lavish perks like chauffeured cars, private jets, top-rated hotels and catered meals.”
Embattled Smithsonian Official Resigns, Elizabeth Olson, New York Times, March 27, 2007.
Smithsonian Deal With Showtime Restricts Access By Filmmakers, Jacqueline Trescot, Washington Post, April 4, 2006.
Posted by: Ian McDermott