Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Meet Dennis Szakacs

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The Los Angeles Times broke the story of Orange County Museum of Art director Dennis Szakacs selling 18 California plein air paintings from OCMA's permanent collection at a deep discount to a private collector.

The Times has also stuck to the controversy like rice paper, filing follow-ups revealing a reader's tip led the fishwrap to the dickheaded move and allowing the paper's noted critic Christopher Knight to pile on.

But the Los Angeles County Museum on Fire blog is the only information/disinformation outlet to make the connection between OCMA and the Iranian government.

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The good news: Tehran Bureau, the independent Iranian news site, is back online this morning after being censored much of yesterday. The bad news: When you click on the the "Collection Online" link of the Orange County Museum of Art site, it returns you to the logo animation--and then the home page.

LACMF also makes this smart observation: One of the sold paintings, William Wendt's Spring in the Canyon, was considered such a key work that it appears in the Collection Online button (right) on OCMA's website. Scan the post's reader comments for more details on what you can and cannot access through the OCMA site.

Szakacs, incidentally, has defended the sale. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be so proud.

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