The trustees of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum are pitted against its former director in a fight over the sale of 150 objects.
In a police report leaked to The Art Newspaper, Dr Gareth Griffiths, who was fired as director in February, gave London art dealer Douglas Barrett a tour around the former Bristol, England, museum in 2009. The dealer chose items from the institution's collection to sell on the open market.
Among the sold items were a bronze statuette by Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner and a carved Maori model house, a gift to Edward VII for his coronation in 1902.
Griffiths says the trustees were aware of the sales which were fully audited. The trustees maintain that Griffiths was dimissed for allowing the unauthorised disposal of items from the museum.
The museum is currently closed with an anticipated reopening in London in 2012 or later.