Thursday, February 23, 2012

What's This Rauschenberg Worth?

Zero, said the estate of art dealer Ileana Sonnabend on her estate tax return. As Forbes reports, Robert Rauschenberg's collage, "Canyon," features a stuffed bald eagle. Under U.S. law bald eagles cannot be possessed, much less legally sold.

$65 million, says the IRS. The work has "illicit market value." Some Chinese billionaire might figure out a way to buy the work and spirit it away to his remote mountain hideout.

Shouldn't our National Bird be tax exempt?

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