Taxpayer loses any discount for ‘endangered’ artwork

BVWireIssue #123-1
December 5, 2012

If you’ve been anxiously anticipating the fate of the artwork by Robert Rauschenberg—which has ruffled a few feathers in the appraisal world—then worry no longer. Last week, the IRS agreed to drop its position that Canyon, a work that combined painting, collage, and a stuffed bald eagle, was worth $65 million to the heirs of the artist’s estate. For their part, the heirs agreed to drop their assertion—based on three art appraisals—that the work had no marketable value because federal law prohibits the sale of the bird in any form. They also agreed to donate the piece to a museum without claiming any amount as a charitable deduction (despite the $65 million IRS appraisal).

The only winner: The Museum of Modern Art in New York City (and its visitors), which beat out others contending for a special showing in 2013.

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