Everybody is a Critic but Scrapping Decisions Better Made by Artists and Collectors

Christopher A. Marinello, Executive Director & General Counsel at the Art Loss Register and Jerome Hasler, Student at the Courtauld Institute and Intern at The Art Loss Register have written about the rise in the value of metal prices that accelerates loss of public sculptures.

Here is an excerpt: “Every morning on their way to the Notting Hill tube, many run into (sometimes literally) Nadim Karam’s “Carnival Elephant,” a metal elephant that idly evokes the movement of people around it with its gently revolving fan, spinning in unison with the whirlwind of activity at the Newcombe Piazza. One week, however, the fan was not moving: Some rascal had indiscriminately broken off one of the blades. The stasis caused many to wonder how and when the watchful elephant would be repaired, following the unholy act of animal cruelty visited upon it.

At the Art Loss Register (ALR), contemporary sculpture damage and theft reports have been rising for years, often in correlation with the increased value of the raw materials involved. In recent times, copper alone has seen an exponential rise in price, trading at over $8,500 per ton in August of this year, with gold, brass and lead also seeing increases of almost 20% in 2011 alone. It seems that, during each economic downturn, thieves target increasingly more ignoble sources of quick cash, with public sculpture, cemeteries and even church roofs bearing the brunt of their greed.”

Barbara Hepworth’s work stolen.
The full article is available here.

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