Roger: The question of legal ownership, which has been brought up by Clive and Gordon, is an interesting point, but I don't think Bonannini can afford an entertainment lawyer. All I can comment on is what has been reported so far: that Bonannini refused to turn over the material (which wouldn't exist unless he and his wife had saved it and stored it for 30 years) because Oja was definitely not going to use it, and was/is against it being used: the stated reason was that Welles had told her that he wanted to redo the Patty Mccormick scenes with Beatrice (when could he have told her that? 1966?). This is why in the Jess Franco abortion that Oja commissioned, he used some material from Welles's spanish documentary in place of the McCormick material. And McCormick is also in the cinema scene, so that would be out also. Now Audrey Stainton has written that Mauro edited DQ with Welles for about one year, from the summer of 69 to the summer of 70, until Welles left Italy due to the scandal rags exposing his affair with Kodar. He forgot the negative in a vault, and it was only due to Mauro's wife noticing the letter of destruction in the lab where she worked that the film that Mauro has was saved at all.
You say: "the world film community should insist that Kodar turn the footage over to an appropriate archive." Just who are the "World film community" that should do the insisting? Would their insisting be based on: a moral, legal, or aesthetic argument? And once Kodar gets it, it would be in her legal possession, and the WFC can insist all they want, but she could still do anything she wanted with it.
You ask: " is someone's clumsy attempt to edit together footage from an unfinished film actually worse than someone willfully changing a film finished by Welles to his own satisfaction? "
Sorry: I can't understand what you mean here. However, my view is this: we can never have the Welles version, and we already have the Franco version. Now let's have the Bonannini version, which by definition would only be another version, but would be ths closest to Welles's ideas as possible, since Mauro was the editor on this picture for one year. Another way would be to just present all the material on several discs, which I think would also be a good idea: it doesn't have to be an either/or solution: we can have Mauro's version, and all the raw footage for Welles freaks.
Can you think of someone better to edit the material than Bonannini? Look at what great projects have been done already: TOE by Murch, Arkadin by Stefan and his team, It's All True by Wilson, and I hope one day a reasonable edit of TOSOTW.
So why not Bonannini on DQ?