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I own the sun…

By 16/08/2010No Comments

Some people have way too much time. Really. The Italian government is massively sponsoring some heavy weight lawyers to prove that Michelangelo’s David belongs to the State, and not to the city of Florence. The city of Florence is countering with some Hugo-Boss-suited grey-haired law specialists of its own to claim David for the city.

All of this bleeding edge law technologists are using misty and dusty papers dating well back to 1500 (!) AC.  Honestly. Michelangelo carved David out of a piece of rejected block of Carrara marble, making it one of the most astonishing and beautiful pieces of art. There was no Italy at that moment. There was a Florentine Republic. So who owns a piece of that magnitude?

Does the current state of Egypt own the Pyramids? Do the Lascaux cave paintings belong to the Republic of France? To whom belong the Dead Sea rolls? Can you claim the Mayan cities as your own? Can you prove Manchu Picchu is legally yours? Could the UK sell off Stonehenge?

All of this makes about as much sense to me as warm beer. It’s like those crazy certificates that give you ownership of a star, a piece of land on the moon, of some acres of sun…

David is world heritage. He belongs to us. He belongs to our children. Lawyers should stop quibbling about ownership, and start determining who is ultimately responsible for its preservation.

As a watch lover, I’m very fond of Patek Phillippe’s slogan: “You never actually own it. You merely look after it for the next generation”…

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