After Haifa Museum of Art employees threw out part of a work by Michael Sgan-Cohen two weeks ago, museum management met to draw conclusions from the incident and take precautions to avoid such mishaps in the future.
Among other things, management decided to hire a restorer who would be responsible for the maintenance of all artworks, with an emphasis on handling all pieces before, during and after exhibitions, when they are returned to the lender or collection rooms.
The museum administration also decided that hanging and removing artworks would be done in accordance with special instructions and supervision and that every piece arriving in the museum would be photographed upon its arrival and departure. Museum director Nissim Tal censured two senior production and curating employees, who were responsible for the loss of the artwork.
Sgan-Cohen's 1981 work was supposed to be part of the "Check-Post: Art in Israel in the 1980s" exhibition that opened last month. The work, which belongs and was dedicated to the artist's widow, Leora Laor, was composed of two sections: a self-portrait on a square piece of tin and an attached canvas with stripes. The work addressed both the biblical story and the Holocaust and dealt among other things with the formation of Jewish identity in relation to the Holocaust. Several days before the exhibition opening, the canvas, placed on the floor before being set up, folded and wrapped in nylon, disappeared. A follow up found it had been mistakenly thrown away along with a number of empty boxes.