£65 million for a piece of bronze? Craziness.

I’m watching the BBC ten o’clock news. I’ve just watched a piece about the sculpture which has created a new world record for the most expensive item of artwork to be sold by auction. £65 million (£58 million plus Sotheby’s fees) is ridiculous. How many mosquito nets would that buy to help prevent malaria spreading mosquitos in Africa? How many water filtration systems could that provide for third world countries? How many people could this sum of money help to start their own businesses and become less reliant on charity?

I know I’m probably in a minority, but I strongly feel that spending this amount of money on some static, unresponsive lump of metal is immoral. A huge fuss was made when the UK wide amount of money raised to send aid to Haiti reached £35 million, and that’s only half what someone has splashed out on something that will probably sit in a bank vault, or heavily guarded display case.

This is an excellent example of the huge divide between the richest and poorest in this world. According to Oxfam Unwrapped, this sum of money could pay to build 38235 classrooms or 151515 libraries, train 1,300,000 farmers, buy 812,500 cows or provide clean water for upwards of 72 million people. Hmmm, cold bronze statue/clean water for an entire country. Such a hard choice.


3 Responses

  1. So crazy.

    One thing I like about Bill Gates is that he donates large portions of his wealth to things like polio vaccines for developing countries. So much better tahn wasting it on useless art.

  2. Wow – the list of stuff you could accomplish at the end of the post, given you had this money? Unbelievable.

  3. I wonder how much the sculptor was paid originally?

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