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A look at what he's collected

October 24, 2008|associated press

When Philippe de Montebello announced his retirement earlier this year, the curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art quickly came up with the perfect going-away gift for their long-serving director.

An exhibit, of course.

It was a mammoth task: In more than 30 years as director, de Montebello has overseen the acquisition of more than 84,000 objects, including sculptures, scrolls, paintings and pendants.

Around 300 of those artworks have been pulled together for "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," which opens today and runs through Feb. 1.

"When one's professional staff pays tribute to you, that gives you a sense that you've done something right," said De Montebello, 72, who is retiring at the end of the year after being at the Met's helm since 1977.

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