PRICE OF KOTA SOLD IN PARIS IS INTERESTING BUT WHAT ABOUT LOSS TO CREATORS AND ORIGINAL USERS?
The kota sold by Christies for Euro 5.5m in Paris on 23 June 2015
The Art Newspaper informs us that a kota has fetched a very high price in Paris:
“A 66cm-tall wooden sculpture has become the most expensive work of African art sold at Christie’s France, fetching €5.5m in Paris today, 23 June. This price tag makes it the third most valuable work of African art ever auctioned; the record stands at $12m for a rare Senufo female statue, which sold at Sotheby’s New York in November 2014” (1)
We learnt also from The Art Newspaper that the kota figure comes from the collection of the late William Rubin, a former director at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) There is also a reference to what the paper describes as “somewhat glamorous provenance”, the object having been previously possessed by cosmetics tycoon, Helen Rubinstein and a collector of modern art, David Lloyd.
I looked in vain in the newspaper for any reference to the people or the persons who made the artefact and from which country it originally came. There was not a word on how that object travelled from Africa to the U.S.A.