A giant mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, which since 1931 has adorned one of America’s oldest art academies, the San Francisco Art Institute, may be sold for a larger million. In that case, it is done to save the financially needy educational institution from turning the key, writes the art media Artnet News.
Here you can also read that it is apparently the creator of the Star Wars movies, Georg Lucas, who has signed up as the happy buyer. The filmmaker is just building a museum in Los Angeles.
But precisely this, selling and removing a nearly 90-year-old original work created for the art school, will be disastrous, critics say.
‘It would be a crime against art and the city’s cultural heritage. Educational institutions should teach art, not sell it ‘, pronounces the Democratic local politician Aaron Peskin for the local newspaper Mission Local.
Estimated at DKK 50 million. dollars
The ballad began just before Christmas, when the management of the art academy in a letter informed the staff that “all attempts to save” the educational institution were investigated and that a majority of the board had voted to investigate the possibility of selling the mural, as Diego Rivera – there was Frida Kahlo’s husband – painted on the site in 1931.
They are currently investigating how the art school can “achieve financial stability”, says the art school’s board chair Pam Rorke Levy in an email to Politiken. No decision has yet been made, but the possibility of ‘selling works of art’ and raising money to let the mural remain at the school is being looked at.
»Regarding the Rivera painting, the ideal would be to secure the painting on site by attracting patrons or entering into partnerships that could create an economic foundation for preserving, protecting and presenting the mural to the public, while helping the board to carry out its position of trust by continuing the school as an educational institution and ensuring its future survival ‘.
The painting has been valued at around 50 million dollars, equivalent to just over 330 million kroner, and the money would fall in a dry place. When the school closed as a result of the corona pandemic last year, it was facing enormous financial difficulties.
At the board meeting in December, employees at the school’s faculty were supposed to have protested the decision to sell the Rivera painting, but the management quickly closed the discussion and stated that they already had a buyer ready behind the scenes. He wanted to acquire the mural for ‘his museum’ in Los Angeles, and it was indicated on the same occasion, according to Artnet News, that the buyer was Georg Lucas.
How the Diego Rivera painting can technically be moved, the story does not yet report. But it is, as we have described here in the newspaper in connection with murals by Hans Scherfig, possible.
The painting shows in its essence the collective process of creation. You see the artist Diego Rivera with his assistants, as they are in the process of painting the mural.
The title is ‘The creation of a fresco shows the creation of a city’.
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