Tuesday, July 15, 2008

That’s incredible …. my watch has stopped too

A while back we removed a sidebar on Over The Net that pointed out that the Colin McCahon Database “published by the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa” was in a sad state of repair. Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, the head of art at Te Papa, had publicly promised to fix the database in a Te Papa newsletter and, when we checked, they had indeed made a start and corrected one entry. That was over five months ago and, as far as we can see, nothing more has happened. The other four mistakes we listed (and there will be more) on a quick flick through the site remain, as does the six-year-old promise that “A Selection of essays on Colin McCahon's life and work is currently in development and will be available soon.” There is still not a single essay, however, to be seen. Realistically the McCahon Database could be dramatically improved by an MA student in a couple of months. When Mane-Wheoki said Te Papa had been “planning for two years” to make a “modest upgrade” you might have reasonably assumed that "modest" meant more than spending five months to correct one typo.