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Links While We’re on the Brink: Copyrighting the Pyramids, Blocking Coello’s Export from U.K., Adding Up the Auctions

—What’s next for Zahi Hawass? Copyrighting the pyramids, of course. Rory McCarthy of the Manchester Guardian has the story. Do you think that New York City can copyright the Statue of Liberty?
—The indefatigable Martin Bailey of The Art Newspaper moves on from the faux “Faun” to a possibly false or incomplete export-license declaration. He reports that a Customs investigation will delay, possibly for years, the acquisition by the Prince of Liechtenstein (for the Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna) of Alonso Sanchez Coello‘s “Portrait of Don Diego,” 1577. London’s National Gallery wants a chance to acquire it.
Bailey further reports:
There is no suggestion that the Prince or his museum were aware of any difficulties over the application or did anything improper.
—All you auction-ologists must read Linda Sandler in Bloomberg today: She parses information about 2006 and 2007 sale totals, published on Sotheby’s website (scroll down to the last page here and here).
Sandler reports that the auction house “sold about 46 percent more art [by dollar amount] this year.” Actually, the totals Sandler cites—$5.33 billion in 2007, compared to $3.66 billion in 2006, are just auction totals and do not include Sotheby’s private sales.
Sandler quotes officials from Sotheby’s and Christies, financial analysts and, of course, dour dealer Richard Feigen, on the year past and the prospects going forward. The consensus: Market growth will slow.
The unasked question: Will it be growth or correction?

: Christmas is a slow-news day, and news outlets all over the world were running this bullish Associated Press story about the art market.

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