After Basquiat Raid, Orlando Museum Faces Crisis of Credibility

ORLANDO, FLA. — The Orlando Museum of Art no longer resembles the active crime scene it was in June, when agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Art Crime Team raided the museum and seized its marquee exhibition: 25 paintings attributed to Jean-Michel Basquiat but whose authenticity was questioned in an F.B.I. affidavit that detailed a nine-year-long criminal investigation into the artworks.

A television news helicopter no longer buzzes overhead while broadcasters in the sun-baked parking lot muse about the fate of the paintings and their owners, who marketed them to prospective buyers as having an appraised value of $100 million.

Now the museum is hoping to get beyond its role at the center of a headline-grabbing art scandal, and is trying to reassure the public, the art world, local officials, donors and its own staff that it still has a culturally vital role to play in serving the community.

It is not going to be easy.

The museum has canceled the next three…

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This article was written by Brett Sokol and originally published on