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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

Southern California Museum Raid Reaches To Chicago

A high profile collector in Chicago named Barry MacLean has been implicated in the federal investigation of looted antiquities and four Southern California museums, including the Mingei.  MacLean is a trustee of one of the most respected and prestigious art schools in the country - the Art Institute of Chicago.

MacLean's private collection was searched by federal investigators last week, the same day the four museums were searched. The reason?  He purchased a significant amount of his collection from Robert Olson .  Olson really is the connective thread so far in this ongoing story. 

The LA Times reports:  In a phone interview Monday, Olson confirmed that MacLean was his biggest client, saying the Chicago collector purchased as much as $50,000 to $100,000 in Asian antiquities a year during the eight to 10 years they did business.


I guess we're going to find out how many collectors and collections Olson has been involved with beyond Southern California.  

One other thing, MacLean is chief executive of MacLean-Fogg, an $800-million-a-year multinational company.  Once guys like this start to be implicated in the investigation and the press, this story is going to get more and more interesting.