Free Dina’s Art

Any News Yet?
September 23, 2009, 4:24 am
Filed under: Active Decency | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Research into the UN Human Rights Council complaints procedure indicates that a complaint will not be heard by the UN Human  Rights  Council while it is already being considered by another organization (such as ICOM).

So, another twelve weeks having passed, the appropriate course of action seems to be to write a follow up note to the Ethics Committee.


September 23, 2009
Ottawa, Canada

Dear Mrs Murphy,

Another three months has passed, and I am writing to enquire if there has been any progress in ICOM’s investigation into the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum and the portraits painted there by Dina Babbitt. More directly perhaps, I am seeking reassurance that this matter has not been allowed to fall aside, or diminish in importance, since the death of Mrs. Babbitt on July 29th this year. It remains a question of an ongoing Human Rights violation by a UNESCO endorsed institution.

As you may recall, it was Mrs Babbitt’s most heartfelt desire that her works should be returned to her own hands, “…the hands that made them…”, and then be passed on to her children and grandchildren since her interaction with the subjects of the portraits, and their individual roles in Dina Babbitt’s life story, constitute a vital part of her legacy.

I believe, Mrs Murphy, that the moments passed in the making of those portraits represented for Dina Babbitt, a sense of knowing powerlessness that is, mercifully, inaccessible to a majority of contemporary people. In a brief note to me in January of this year, Mrs Babbitt said, in part,”…But when I was refused to take my paintings home in 1973 at the museum, I felt as helpless as when I was a prisoner again…”

Can we honestly suppose that any institution should be so empowered? Is there any statement in any document from the UN, UNESCO, or ICOM that supports the right of the Museum to deprive Dina Babbitt of her property?  I believe not.

I look forward to any information you can provide at this time and I thank you.


Tim Thibeault
Ottawa, Canada

cc: Karin Babbitt
cc: Michele Kane



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