When the art world considers art as a mere monetary investment.

The latest in the investigation of the artwork stolen from Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam reveals an art curator’s greatest fear: the paintings may have been destroyed.

Olga Dogaru, whose son has been arrested for stealing seven works of art signed by Picasso, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, Lucian Freud and Meyer de Haan admitted to burning the paintings in order to protect her son from prosecution. Investigators have since tested the ashes of the incinerator and found evidence of nails, paints and other materials these artists were known to have used.

Olga Dogaru saw burning the paintings simply as a way to destroy the evidence. Of course those of us who love the arts may wonder how someone could throw these paintings into the fire. How could she simply watch these masterpieces burn? As a mother, I suppose I can understand the desire to protect her child from prison, but by burning works of art?

In the past year or more, the art world seems to have spent more time speaking about art as a mere monetary investment as a sole measure of value. Numbers, not color, line or form, has been the topic of too many art stories. This, I believe, is where to find the answer to the question of how does one incinerate works of art.

So when you read the story of Olga Dogaru this morning, pay attention to how you respond to this destruction.  Are you sickened by the possible destruction of art’s history or do you find yourself asking, “I wonder how much those paintings were worth?”  If it’s the latter, you too could probably be an art burner.

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One Response to “When the art world considers art as a mere monetary investment.”

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