Friday, February 22, 2013

Lines on the Goulandris family art feud (or 'Aspasia and the Pot of Basil')

Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When artworks to our heirs we leave
Marc’s Monet, worth ten million plus
Outstrips Matilda’s small Balthus
The nubile nymph she thought would pay
For her leisurely Harvard MBA
Is just a trifle, she is told
And not a Danaë shower of gold

Bertrand will cheer when he discovers
His Braque is better than his brother’s
Marie might faint when told the sketch
She dreamt would half a million fetch
Is not a blue-chip work by Miró
But a Beltracchi daub worth next to zero

“Et in Arcadia Ego”...True!
(That Virgil knew a thing or two)
Works of art expose our greed
The vanities on which we feed
If they could speak to us today
They’d sneer at all our wills and say:
“Cease this internecine feud!
Ars Longa, Vita Brevis, dude!”


Inspired by the disputed art collection of the late Greek shipping magnate Basil Goulandris

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