A must read for everyone that is innocently thinks that the extreme prices attained at art auctions are actually about the “art”.
The paintings themselves might appeal to no one – but they are perfect as mediums to conduct hefty transactions through. After all one just hands a painting over from seller to buyer. Whereas any other hefty transaction – real estate / cars etc require a registration with the government authorities to record the change of ownership. Not so in the case of art.
Further there is no way to determine how much it is actually worth. So I could pay $100 or $100,000 and both would be unquestionable in the case of ‘art’.
The problem arises when the payments are made in cash and not through banking channels. Cash that well be unaccounted for in the buyer’s possession – cash that may have been generated through earnings that were not declared in order to escape the tax net or some legal net.