Marie Bountrogianni’s Tough First Week at the ROM


Yowch. Talk about a tough first week. The Globe and Mail has an interesting story on former politician, Marie Bountrogianni, the new president of the Royal Ontario Museum‘s board of directors. She came on board the same week as the story that went nearly everywhere, the boy and his bomb hoax art project, as well as local egg-on-the-face story, museum directors getting mad at vending carts outside, were both making the ROM the laughing stock of the business. But hey, if you were the people who voted her in and wanted to see if she was up for it, you got your chance. Should be smooth sailing from here on out, right?

The museum, Ms. Bountrogianni knows, has lately suffered a series of public-relations reverses, including the aforementioned fake bomb “art project” that spoiled an AIDS fundraiser and the ROM’s ham-handed handling of its opposition to hot-dog and ice-cream vending carts. More serious, though, has been criticism that the interior space is inimical to proper exhibition.

“I know it has its critics,” she says of Daniel Libeskind‘s provocative design. “Any time something different is done, people will react. But controversy can be positive. It can attract people to the ROM to see for themselves.