MILAN (AP) — The director of the Brera Art Gallery in Milan is courting controversy by including in a new show a painting whose attribution to Caravaggio is disputed.
Critics charge the decision to display “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” discovered two years ago in an attic in southern France, legitimizes its attribution to Caravaggio and would drive up the work’s price were it to be put on the market. A prominent art historian has quit the Brera’s scientific committee over the decision.
But gallery director James Bradburne defends the work’s display as fulfilling a museum’s mission to ask questions and encourage dialogue. He says experts, not museums, have the responsibility of deciding attribution and museums have the unique ability to show works side-by-side to spark a discussion.
The six-painting exhibit runs through Feb. 5.