In 2007 the Adam and Eve window by Valentin Bousch suddenly appeared on the floor of Maynard’s Auction house in Vancouver. The Institute contacted leading Canadian museums in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver as well as the Minister of Culture in Ottawa, attempting to keep this incomparable artefact in Canada. All to no avail. The window was sold to a European art dealer for only $300,000.
The lack of national curatorial responsibility which led to the export of this unique Renaissance treasure was a profound and unnecessary loss to Canada. We mourn the narrow curatorial vision of our large museums, and the indifference of the Federal Minister of Culture in 2007 – all of whom were urged by the Institute to keep the Creation window in Canada. But our curators allowed the squandering of this deepest of cultural myths, honoured equally by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Bousch created this masterpiece and other elaborate windows for the Benedictine Priory at Flavigny-sur-Moselle, France in the early 1530s. Companion windows from the Priory are now at The Cloisters of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. But not good enough for Canada apparently.
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