Letter: Michelangelo or not?

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article on the attribution of The Entombment of Christ (19 September) briefly aired the different views for and against Michelangelo's authorship, and went on to suggest that the National Gallery has been grudging in giving information and eager to frustrate wider public discussion. May I assure your readers that is not the case.

The National Gallery is probably the most accessible in the world, open free of charge, with every picture in the collection usually on show. It also offers a range of information on the pictures in its care - scholarly catalogues, general books, CD-ROM - which few other galleries can match. In recent years it has mounted a series of exhibitions aimed precisely at encouraging public debate of questions of attribution, technique, etc.

In the specific case of the Entombment, your readers will be able to form their own view at the exhibition which opens next month. In the book accompanying the exhibition Michael Hirst, a leading Michelangelo scholar, sets out the arguments that incline him, and the National Gallery, to believe that the painting is indeed by Michelangelo.

Yours faithfully,


Director, The National Gallery

London, WC2