Some of the Elgin Marbles, which Greece wants back. Photograph: Getty

With his impeccable manners and scholar’s demeanour, James Cuno doesn’t come across as a man likely to generate extreme reactions. But in the fraught (...)

‘One of the best of the Beit paintings to be sold at Christie’s is David Teniers’s depiction of a Flemish country dance, the Kermesse (detail, above). As a work of art, it is delightfully anarchic, with groups of people dancing, shouting, pointing and reeling with intoxication. As a depiction for the dance around the notion of the “public trust” in this whole affair, it is all too symbolic.’

It is an awkward word for an awkward action: deaccessioning. The very fact that it was necessary to make up a new word for it suggests that what is go(...)