Quite

Bugger the arties:

Who the hell cares? Art is not about ownership or geography. It is about values greater than time and space. I don\’t give a damn where a work of art is. I just care that it is. The Taj Mahal is in India (presumably) and the Mona Lisa in Paris, but I don\’t have to go and see them to enjoy the benefit of their cultural impact.

These two paintings are in no sense more artistically valid by being located in the National Gallery of Scotland than if they were sold to furnish the lobby walls of some hotel in Abu Dhabi. Indeed, I am personally more likely to bump into them there than where they are now.

It\’s not about the money: the Government could easily raise the cash by selling a big London hospital. It\’s about getting over the outdated habit of imperial rapine – the “Elginian fallacy”, if I may – that imparts meaning to the mere ownership of art.

If you want to see Diana & Actaeon, there was a perfectly good copy of it on the front page a couple of days ago. Just dig it out of the recycling bin and glue it to the fridge.

But I wouldn\’t bother – it\’s no more than a wan snapshot, caught leadenly on canvas as if by some teenage happy slapper with an iPhone, of what appears to be a poacher in very bad sandals coming upon an outdoor brothel for tubby-fanciers, and expressing his horror at the sight of a load of hefty girls with massive bums but no boobs at all – the nightmare combo.

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