When Dr jon thompson gave the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) his approval for the purchase of the dennis dodd bogus 'bellini' carpet either he was too rug-ignorant to know it was not a 16th century museum worthy masterpiece or he was in cahoots with dodds, the seller.
There are no other possible explanations, and both bode badly for thompson, his reputation as a carpet expert or his honesty.
To this day Dr thompson has never explained why he made such a great error, nor has he recanted.
Several years after the bogus 'bellini' purchase Dr thompson was invited by LACMA to give a talk about the Ardibil carpets, one of which is in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the other in LACMA's collection.
RK hired an actor and a cinematographer, sent them to the talk, and the section of the video recorded that day, where thompson utters the "it's a contentious issue" quote, is below.
Here is what is said for those who might have trouble hearing it clearly.
Actor: Dr. thompson, why did you not want to speak to me about the bellini carpet
Thompson: I don't know who you are and this is a contentious issue, which I am not going to enter into. I am sorry.
A security guard then entered the room and asked our actor to leave.
Yes, it is a contentious issue for thompson but what is not contentious is the fact the bellini is bogus and thompson and the others should never have approved its purchase.
Here is the URL where the complete video can be seen:
RK has written extensively about the bogus 'bellini' fiasco and the fact not one other person has spoken up is a disgrace.
There is absolutely no doubt the dodds/LACMA 'bellini' is a late genre period reproduction and not a genuine 16th century masterpiece and dr jon thompson's role in approving its purchase is a black mark on his reputation.