‘No boss’ blamed for museum thefts

Main Stories, National

The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011

 THE recent “theft” at the National Museum and Art Gallery (NMAG), as reported last month, has been blamed on the lack of a director to lead the organisation.  

NMAG president Julius Violaris confirmed that some senior officers, whose names he did not disclose, were currently taking advantage of the situation to do anything they want.

“Indeed, some of the senior staff at the museum have colluded and fraudulently claimed monies under the payroll system.”

“These are very serious allegations and certainly it is stealing,” Violaris said on behalf of the board. 

He said investigations were underway and those found guilty would be charged and arrested accordingly. 

Violaris, however, said the efforts by the board and other stakeholders, like the Public Services Commission (PSC), to appoint a new director last year had been marred when former director Simon Poraituk took separate court orders restraining them from doing so.   

He also asserted that “it is misleading and erroneous to complain that the museum board ignored due process to effect an appointment resulting in the vacancy to remain.” 

He said his board and PSC had observed and pursued all due processes pertaining to the vacancy but restraining orders had stopped them from making a substantive appointment of a director. 

He said in the meantime, the board, under the NMAG Act and related powers vested on it, had appointed an officer to act as care-taker manager to oversee the affairs of NMAG until such time a director was officially appointed.

Meanwhile, a reliable source from the NMAG said they were not given the name for the care-taker manager who Violaris was referring to as there was no director to play the role of a manager at the moment.

“I don’t know about her,” the source said.

“Who are you talking about,” the source added. 

The source refused to respond to further questions about the affairs of the museum.