This is a copy of the letter where I answer the accusations of misconduct for having asked my then tutor, Joanna Woodall to separate her best friend and co-tutor Rose Marie San Juan (UCL) who had sent me by mistake an email where they openly conspire against me and laughs about my positive comments about my friend Marina Abramovic. Enjoy! 

Dear Emma Davidson,                                                                          


Joanna Woodall: Unfit for Her Position. Birmingham Red Nose Fired Tutor 

This is to acknowledge reception of your ‘Allegation of Misconduct’ letter which I generously received during the festive season. I would rather spend my time and energy writing my dissertation and doing my research but let me take the time to reject all allegations as unfounded and false. I will also take the opportunity to point out that I consider the timing of your letter as a further attempt against my health and well-being which increases the damage. Your letter has been sent 21 December, three days before Xmas which is not at all considerate if we take into account that I was pushed into a clinic to be treated for depression after one year of bullying and constant exhausting diversionary actions after I sent an email to the director informing her that after three years of mistreatment by my tutors in private and in public (which made me burst into tears), I received an email ‘by mistake’ where they were both openly conspiring and commenting on my lifestyle and friends. 


As the former Secretary of State for Culture of Argentina, I have sufficient strategic experience to see that the Courtauld’s plan is to exhaust my resources and my health in order to make me drop out. I will not. Let me point out that I know how to defend my rights and how to point out an alarming organisational misconduct which consequences are already specific as I will show in this email and that have overwhelmed my well being and that of my family. As a student my rights have been constantly violated. Let me remind you that when I received Woodall and San Juan unprofessional email gossiping about me, my lifestyle and people I worked with such as Marina Abramovic, I clearly specified that I only wanted to inform the Director of a very specific unprofessional behavior from a member of the academic staff but, in order to preserve the institution, I did not want to formally complain. It was Morgan and Anjud’s bullying and inconsistent behavior that left me no choice but to present a formal complaint that was only heard a year later.  


Marina Abramovic: Laughed at by Rose Marie San Juan?Why? 


Regarding your letter, please liaise with the different (and indeed too many) areas that have exchanged emails with me at the Courtauld and maybe you will be able to tell me how the investigation announced by the Director regarding my allegations of professional misconduct against Joanna Woodall and Rose Marie San Juan are progressing and when I am going to receive the funds necessary to maintain myself after the Director took one year to consider the case. This means that during the time of the so called allegations I was not formally a student since I was de-registered with retroactivity a month ago. Please,consider the contents of those exchanges enough support and evidence of my good will and impeccable behavior taking into account its context. By context, I am referring to the fact that I have inexplicably been the victim of a plot that started in 2010 with Joanna Woodall who lied in her communications with the Research Committee about a supposed personal relationship with my donor Mrs.Elena Heinz who, as you know, has generously funded my scholarship and that of many other PhD students at the Courtauld. Woodall performed all these machinations in her direct communications with Julian Stallibrass, Head of the Committee and, of course, behind my back. Simultaneously, she systematically used any opportunity to undermine my academic progress both by ignoring my emails and by being misleading as I pointed out to my (first round) second reader Katie Scott. She even transformed a polite ‘thank you’ note after a tutorial into an attempt from my part to step boundaries and harass her. Of course, this was also done behind my back. The level of her self delusion reached the point of saying in front of Katie Scott during my Upgrade Viva that ‘the fact that I included a reference to Hermaphroditism was because of my private life’ which I believe is a reference to the fact that I am a homosexual male. I therefore reject any allegation of misconduct. All my responses are reactions to direct and indirect attacks in the context of a conspiracy against me which reasons I am still trying to find. Having said this she caused enormous damage both to myself, my career, my finances and my family’s health and well being. 


Regarding point 5.4 and after one year being bullied, ignored and misled by Gareth Morgan, Saad Anjud, Mignon Nixon, which ended up in my de-registration and re-registration after one year waiting to hear from the Courtauld and its Director to have a tutor and to be able to honor Mrs Heinz’ generosity and the Courtauld’s reputation, you must understand that I had no choice but to exercise my right to freedom of speech in order to get some justice. Of course, the Courtauld keep shocking me by its lack of humanity. This is why and under these new events which are a blatant attack to my health, I will make this letter public in my blog (which is written in English, Spanish and French and has 7,500 daily readers, all them cultural leaders in US, UK and South America) without any editing and if you have further questions about it you will have to speak with my lawyer whose contact details he will provide when back from holidays. So consider this email as my answer before January 21st and after that my lawyer will take over. The reason for this is that I want to dedicate all my efforts to the writing of a wonderful contribution to the knowledge of Spanish painting which is more worthy of my time than this infamous witch-hunt where the Courtauld performs, ironically, as the Spanish Inquisition. 

The Courtauld Director: One Year To React& Two Surely Unhappy Donors 


Regarding the consequences of this lack of leadership, I want to now inform you that a year and a half ago, Deborah Swallow, in one of her trips to New York City, sent an email to the then CEO of Morgan Stanley  and former CEO of Credit Suisse, John Mack, in her commitment to raise funds for the Courtauld different projects.  At that time, I worked very closely with him as his Art Advisor and also with others senior executives of Morgan Stanley in NYC. At that point, Woodall’s behavior after the upgrading were evidence of a lack of control at the Courtauld  and that that balance between bureaucratic formalism of a Gongoric tone and excesses of power using academic positions for personal vendettas through conspiracies of uncertain motivations transformed the Courtauld intp an unsafe place to donate money to. He called me and asked me to decide whether to have that lunch and consider a donation to be given or not. Imagine. I just thought that a bit of material density to this discussion apart from the fact that the Director should immediately apologise to Mrs.Heinz who is not a friend of mine and who I have met at the Courtauld at an event organised by it where I was supposed to interact with her and show her my work. As a result and since the Prado Museum generously offered to moved three paintings by Velazquez to a private room, I invited her to come along and she was very interested but Woodall’s behavior made me restrain from going further with that group trip because there was clearly something wrong with her which is now for all of us to see. 


I copy this letter to all people mentioned including my tutors, Mrs Marina Abramovic, Mr John Mack, and also my donor Mrs Elena Heinz and my co-referee UCL Vice-Provost and Fielden Professor Michael Worton. Please do not contact me directly but wait till I send you around Jan 15 all the details of the lawyer firm that will represent me from now on. 


I wish you all an excellent New Year. 




Rodrigo Canete