Art: The Met: Beleaguered but Defiant

SHE was a difficult old woman," remarked a staff member of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, musing on the late Adelaide de Groot, heiress to a vast fortune derived from her father's success in the China trade. "The more presentable junior employees had to take turns squiring her around, pushing her wheelchair. And all to get that damn bequest!"

The bequest was considerable, but so is the acrimony it has since roused. In the past year, the Met has quietly sold or traded off 50 of the 211 paintings Adelaide de Groot willed...

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