Thursday, November 17, 2011

The economy and antiquities

THE ECONOMY is also bad news for antiquities:
Recent articles in popular news magazines (Time, Forbes) and newspapers (Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) extol the virtues of investing in the past. Buying antiquities has become a safe(r) investment than the stock market. Recent sales of Dead Sea Scroll fragments by a family who had “owned” them for decades were compared to a 401(K) program that kicks in as family members need the money. Record breaking purchases of the Guennol Lioness (US $57.2 million) and an Imperial Chinese vase from a Swiss collection (US $22 million) attest to the lure of the ancient not only as mementoes of past trips, past lives and the ancient past, but of potential future profits and retirement “nest eggs”
(Morag M. Kersel. The Lure of Ancient Artifacts, at Bible and Interpretation)