Let’s not forget it wasn’t just one painting Helen Clark passed off as her own, she finally admitted to signing “about half a dozen” works of art she hadn’t created.
And it wasn’t just when she was Prime Minister when the demands of office might have explained why she did it, though not excused her for doing it. She admitted she’d done it from the time she was a back bencher.
That’s not a hanging offence, but it’s dishonest and a very bad look, especially for a Minister of Arts, which raises legitimate questions about her character.
Why didn’t she just say she couldn’t paint but offer to help in another way? Why not say she couldn’t paint but would be happy to pay for someone else to do a painting and donate that? Why not just do a painting knowing no one would expect a master piece?
Does it matter?
Yes, because the signature on a work of art deontes its provenance so you need to be able to trust it, and the woman who’s shown we can’t trust her on that reckons the election’s about trust.
Cartoon: Rod Emmerson