To protect a pricey art collection worth an estimated $500 million -- including works by Picasso, Dali and Warhol -- Gary Nader Fine Art brought in a police officer to guard the premises 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to The Miami New Times. Although such services would normally cost Nader thousands of dollars, this particular service is being provided by the city of Miami for free, reports The Miami Herald.
How did an art gallery specializing in contemporary and Latin artworks strike up such a convenient bargain with the cops? "It was a gentlemen’s agreement," gallery owner Nader told The Miami Herald. "They understand the importance of art for a city." The gallery, located in the Wynwood arts district, brought many prized works to the Western hemisphere for the first time, and in a City Comission meeting, Police Chief Manuel Orosa reportedly expressed awareness of the negative light any damage to the collection would cast on the Miami police force.
While some Miami denizens are pleased with the city's gift for the sake of art, others are suspicious as to why Nader is receiving special treatment. Less expensive art galleries are left susceptible to the city's crime because they don't have "the same connections that Nader has with the city," complained gallery owner William Braemer. Also confused by the choice is Catherine Beaton, a mother whose 15-year-old son Aaron Willis was shot only minutes from the art gallery.
What do you think, readers? Is a priceless art collection reason enough for special protection from the city? Or should a private gallery have to pay for their own security force?
MORE ARTS NEWS:
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Portland Art Museum Defends "The Bear Chair": What's so disturbing about Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz' "The Bear Chair"? The LA Times review makes it pretty explicit: "When things are wrong, they're wrong. 'The Bear Chair' shows Goldilocks as a little girl tied to a chair. He is carving a message in the dressing table, 'If you ever tell,' it reads, 'I'll hurt your mama real, real bad.' The anger of the piece is icy. You feel its maker calmly reaching for his .357 magnum to blow the bear straight to hell." The Portland Art Museum released a statement in defense of the piece, writing, "Art reflects an artist's response to the world both beautiful and ugly." (Oregon Live)
Silver Army On Attack!: We can barely contain our excitement for "Silver Action," a performance art event at London's Tate Modern curated by US artist Suzanne Lacy. The performance invites an army of 400 women aged 60 and over who have taken part in some of the last century's most influential political protests to take part in an unscripted dialogue on age and awareness. (Guardian)
So...Two Guys Married A Tree: In 2009 performance art duo The Art Guys married a tree for the sake of art, and the flood of reactions resulted in vandalism, accusations of homophobia and even prostitution. Read the epic saga of the controversial artwork here. (Salon)
Check out other shocking works of art in the slideshow below: