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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

THE ART CHOICE: A balloon or the world's finest Julius Caesar portrait for $200,000?


Which would you choose for $200,000?  


The world's finest  portrait of Julius Caesar, struck in 43 BCE?  


Or a balloon from 2013 by a comtemporary Art Clown who calls himself Banksy?



The Finest Known Portrait Denarius of Julius Caesar

Sale: Triton XIII, Lot: 291. Estimate $75000.
Closing Date: Monday, 4 January 2010.
Sold For $160000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Julius Caesar. August 43 BC. AR Denarius (3.96 g, 12h). Rome mint. L Flaminius Chilo, quattuorvir aere argento auro flando feriundo. Laureate head right within within pelleted border / L • FLAMINIVS down right field, IIII VIR up left, Venus Genetrix as Felicitas standing left, holding caduceus in outstretched right hand and long scepter in left; all within pelleted border. Crawford 485/1; CNR I 102/1 (same obv. die); CRI 113; Sydenham 1089; RSC 26. Superb EF, attractively toned. Well-struck with obverse die of fine style on large flan. Very rare.

Police Confiscate Banksy Balloons and Say They’re Not Art

Maurice Pinzon
Two men, who were later arrested, trying to remove a work by Banksy, the British street artist, in Long Island City, Queens, on Oct. 31.

Banksy! is still in police custody — that is, the balloons that spell the British street artist’s name, as well as an exclamation point, are. And they may never get out.

Confiscated by the police from would-be thieves, the inflatable letters, which were Banksy’s parting gift to New York after a monthlong “residency,” have been impounded by the New York Police Department’s property clerk division.
The letters’ estimated value, according to a gallery owner who specializes in Banksy’s work, is between $200,000 and $300,000. But in the view of the Police Department, which has categorized the balloons as “arrest evidence,” they are somewhat less rarefied, possibly to their peril.
“I don’t have it as art on the invoice,” said Deputy Chief Jack J. Trabitz, the commanding officer of the property clerk division, which maintains facilities around the city for evidence storage. “We have it as a balloon.”

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