My God! Isn’t this appalling!

Those rich lousy foreigners coming over here and buying up all our art!

Britain lost more than 33,000 works of art, archaeological artefacts and other culturally important items – including a Picasso masterpiece – to rich foreign buyers last year.

A treasure trove of more than £1.7bn-worth of old masters paintings, Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities,…..Picasso’s Child with a Dove, which the Spanish artist….Raphael’s drawing Head of a Young Apostle,…..The duke also sold Louis de Gruuthuse’s copy of The Deeds of Sir Gillion de Trazegnies in the Middle East. The 15th-century Flemish manuscript, which features artwork by Lieven van Lathem,…

So what’s actually happening is that stuff we bought from foreigners when we were top dogs is now being bought by foreigners given that we are no longer top dogs.

Oh Woes, Calamities unbound, eh?

10 comments on “My God! Isn’t this appalling!

  1. At an average price of £33k, and with many of the more significant ones costing many millions, how many of these 33k are actually “culturally important”?

    The many items that have been saved in this way over the years would easily fill a museum or gallery and

    be massively ignored except by a minuscule fraction of the utterly self-obcessed and wholly unrepresentative London* chattering class.

    * Galleries and museums exist in many other places but “saved national treasures” are unlikely to end up exiled from the delights of the metropolis.

  2. We ought to nationalise them then. Places like Venice, Rome and Paris have lived off their past for years, even centuries, after real power has faded. Tourists still come. In fact they are driving the locals out of Venice. Egypt’s main export is still its pyramids.

    We have a national treasure in the loot of our Empire and our unbelievably bad 70s architecture. I am sure tourists will come and marvel at both for centuries. But not if we sell it all off. Of course the owners ought to be paid a fair price and all that. But we owe it to our Urdu-speaking grandchildren. At least they will have something to burn.

  3. Our government should not be selling these pieces of art to foreigners. Oh wait, these are private sales yes? People can sell to whom they like, if other people are so concerned that foreign buyers are buying them they can buy them themselves from the sellers.
    Oh look not that concerned eh?

  4. Martin, it might make sense for public institutions to sell off some of their art as well. Large galleries have huge stores of stuff that is rarely or never displayed.

  5. Hi Mr. John Bourne

    Sir, I’m sure we can reach a satisfactory arrangement, p.s. I have London Bridge available with a generous discount for both

  6. If the Grauniadistas want to keep these things in Britain so that they and their Islington mates can gawp at them, why don’t they privately raise the money to outbid the feelthy foreign looters?

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