Hoorah for secrecy in museums! Decades ago, many murder mystery novels and movies took place in museums. A June 21, 2007 report in the Washington Post heralds a return of the museum as a place of skulduggery and, if we the public are lucky, murder. Under the leadership of its recently deposed director, the Smithsonian Institution reportedly fostered a good, old-fashioned climate of secrecy and impending doom. Here’s a snippet from that report:
Secrecy Pervaded Smithsonian on Small’s Watch
Leaders of the Smithsonian in the past seven years took extraordinary steps to keep secret the amount of top executives’ compensation, lavish expense-account spending, ethical missteps and management failures, an independent report released yesterday shows.
Former secretary Lawrence M. Small, with the help of his top deputy, Sheila P. Burke, took advantage of a vast gap in oversight to set his own salary, spend freely, take unlimited leave and ignore policy to pursue private agendas, according to the independent review committee…
…filled with intriguing character actors.