Yeats, auction, Sothebys, culture
The selling off of Ireland’s cultural heritage is decent business. Recently the treasures of what the auctioneer described as “Ireland’s greatest literary and artistic family” netted just shy of £2 million. This was small beer for Sotheby’s, the London auction house that handled the sale, but made for considerable publicity. Admittedly various bothersome academics, artists, concerned citizens and writers (myself among them) got together to object to the sale in the newspapers, and to the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys. But nothing changed; the Yeats Family Collection sale proceeded uninterrupted. If anything, the protests put the prices up.