Don’t airbrush Rolf Harris from history by Janet Street Porter
From the Article:
In the wake of recent scandals involving Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris, all sorts of organisations want to airbrush away their previous involvement with these repugnant characters. Within minutes of Harris’s conviction, the mayor of his birthplace in Australia was talking about removing all references to his association with the city and destroying an honorary plaque commemorating “the boy from Bassendean”.
Jimmy Savile’s headstone was removed from his grave, a statue in Glasgow taken down, and every public body he had been associated with quickly severed links with the late showman. Roads and hospital wards have been renamed.
Rolf Harris was a terrible artist as well as a creepy entertainer. He wrote asking if he could paint my portrait for a BBC series. I declined. But will the BBC now be wiping the tapes of all his shows? And what’s its position on its extensive catalogue of Savile material? And has Hall been deleted from the BBC library? As for Harris’s paintings, there’s been much speculation about his portrait of the Queen, but I doubt she cares. Why look at infantile daubs when you own Leonardo drawings?
Galleries holding stocks of Harris’s work have deleted any references to him and their links to his web page have been taken down. He is being chucked out of the Australian Hall of Fame by the recording industry and stripped of gongs, including the Office of the Order of Australia. Mind you, some in the art world think that Harris’s notoriety could enhance the long-term value of his second-rate portraits.