07/23/2013 04:56 pm ET

How To Buy Your Way To The Front Page Of The NY Times


In a sensational front page story, today’s New York Times announces what the art world has long known: “Qatari Riches Are Buying Art World Influence.” Yes, the Qataris — and other Gulf monarchs — are rapidly amassing a motherlode of art, and in the process likely driving up art prices worldwide. Qatar’s profligate spending, which is estimated at over $1 billion per annum, has recently included several high-profile acquisitions, which the article is sure to list right at the top: Rothko’s “White Center,” ($70 million); a Hirst pill cabinet ($20 million); Cézanne’s “Card Players” ($250 million). With jaw-dropping prices like these, it seems no surprise that the story ran above the fold — until you realize none of this is actually news. The most recent of these buys, the Cézanne, took place two years ago.