Buy art, or feed people?

Reader Mary Collier dropped us a line about the record sale price for a Paul Gauguin painting by Qatar’s museums.

“$300 million is a lot to spend — even on a beautiful, historical piece of art. However, think of what else it might buy. … $300 million could feed a lot of starving people worldwide and save lives in other ways, but we all make those tradeoffs — albeit on a different scale. We spend money on better homes, cars, clothes, jewelry and art when we could be using that money to help others. We are in a broken system that isolates us from the misery of others.

“However, studying art and appreciating the arts can also help us get beyond ourselves. At least someone in Qatar likely has the money, can protect the valuable art, and can make it available to others through a museum. Let us hope they also will balance the art purchase with other charitable causes that more directly impact everyday lives.”

An interesting take. Thoughts? Email

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