Thursday, December 6, 2007

Guennol Lioness

From today's news:

"NEW YORK (AFP) - A tiny and extremely rare 5,000-year-old white limestone sculpture from ancient Mesopotamia sold for 57.2 million dollars in New York on Wednesday, smashing records for both sculpture and antiquities. The carved Guennol Lioness, measuring just over eight centimeters (3 1/4 inches) tall, was described by Sotheby's auction house as one of the last known masterworks from the dawn of civilization remaining in private hands."

A staggering price - though the sculpture is beautiful. It reminds me of the jaguar gods of Mezoamerica. See its grace and strength, and the beauty with which it was shaped. 5,000 years old, it is as old as the wheel: something that staggers the mind.

But who, in their astonishment at the beauty of this early, early piece of human art, spent over 57 million dollars? I was about to say "I hope the buyer knows the story behind this Guennol Lioness," only now that I look again, I realize it is beautiful enough to need no story.

Is 57 million dollars the monetary value of an ancient myth?


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