Europe Is Selling Its Family Silverware

April 9, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

To deal with its debt problems European governments are looking to sell works of art writes Doreen Carvaljalapril:

  • In light of government budget cuts a British museum sold a 4,500 year old Egyptian statue for $27 million to create a new endowment to fund the museum.
  • Germany is selling its national treasures to finance a state owned casino.
  • Another German museum’s collection may be used to pay back the debts of a failed bank.
  • Critics point out that once these works are sold to private collectors they may never be seen by the public again.
  • Defenders retort that museums can typically only display 10% of their art anyway, and all the stuff stored in inventory should probably just be sold to help in a time of crisis.
  • On the plus side, news of the sale of works of arts drives up museum visitors as people flock to see famous works for one last time.

Read about some American museums that have resorted to the same tactics, the use of ethical guidelines in sales, and more over here.

Source: The New York Times