Don\’t you feel poorer today?

£5.4million Turner masterpiece lost to the British nation.

I certainly do feel poorer today. No, seriously, I awoke just past midnight with a searing hole in my soul as I realised that the export ban on a Turner painting had been lifted. A piece of canvas was going to go to the US and in return some 5.4 million pounds would flow into this country to help in the restoration and maintenance of a castle.

How could such a thing happen? Surely it would be better that the dustman be taxed so that the wealthy could both see the painting and the restored castle?

9 comments on “Don\’t you feel poorer today?

  1. The concept that a painting, just because it happens to be famous, is private property seems to be an alien concept to some collectivists.

  2. I feel richer by virtue of the happy thought that an iota of improvement to cultural standards in the USA is underway.

  3. Hang on, there’s almost a thought there. Should the value of that “happy thought” be called an increase in my ‘eutility’?

  4. “It’s not one of Turner’s best known works” and “…no offers came in” because it’s spectacularly boring and purely of academic interest.

    Tate Britain has rooms full of really wonderful Turners – enough to satisfy the aesthetic yearnings of most ardent fans.

    Anyway, the more art gets spread around, the more people get to enjoy it and, with any luck, learn something.

  5. “The concept that a painting, just because it happens to be famous, is private property seems to be an alien concept to some collectivists.”

    Yes. Goblins in the Harry Potter books. The French goblins invented that droit de seigneur thingamabob to pay the artist each time a work is sold.

    You can’t complain too much though: at least we taxpayers haven’t had to bail out Gringotts.

  6. The Australian Government is talking about giving some of the re-sale value of every painting to the original artist. So if you buy a painting, and then re-sell it for more, you have to give the painter some of the extra cash.

    It is designed to protect Aboriginal artists who may or may not be illiterate and easily defrauded.

    Needless to say, the Government is worse than ours.

  7. “Needless to say, the Government is worse than ours.”

    Now _that_ I find terribly difficult to believe…

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