Stupid Countries, Stupider Museums
All the countries mentioned above—Peru, Italy, Greece, Great Britain and Egypt—are great tourist destinations. And Americans love to travel.
Given the weakness of the dollar against the Euro (€1 = $1.35) and the Pound (£1 = $2.00), America is a bargain-basement tourist destination for the folks across the Pond.
I believe it’s high time to get the fine arts business out of the hands of museum directors, ministers of culture and assorted bureaucrats—with their sphincter-tight mentalities—and replace these silly acquisitors with good old-fashioned marketers.
Leave all these works of art and artifacts in situ. Instead of blowing millions of dollars on court cases and PR, spend money on upscale travel brochures that offer irresistible opportunities for intellectual and emotional fulfillment on a grand scale.
In the Basement
Incidentally, the major museums of the world have basements filled with great art in storage with no room to exhibit it.
A single example is the Barnes Collection outside Philly. Albert C. Barnes, a multimillionaire who acquired 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 60 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 21 Soutines, and 18 Rousseaus, as well as a number of works by Modigliani, Degas, van Gogh, Seurat and Monet.
Only a teeny fraction of these are on exhibit.
If the Barnes directors had any savvy—and were not constrained by Barnes’s wacko will—they could offer to loan out some of these works to smaller museums around the world in return for their agreeing to put out Barnes brochures and travel deals to Philly.
This business model, it seems to me, would stimulate business for the museums and bring in tourist dollars, Euros, pounds and yen to airlines, hotels, restaurants and car rental companies everywhere.
Isn’t this business common sense?