In recent years, artworks by renowned artists have sold for exorbitant prices. For instance, a painting by Vincent van Gogh sold for over 117 million dollars in 2022, while one by Leonardo da Vinci sold for a staggering 450 million dollars in 2017.
This has led to debate about the escalating prices of art. Some say that their cultural importance warrants their outrageous prices and that individuals are free to spend their own money. However, opponents argue that it is immoral and that such important artworks should belong to the public.
Proponentsargue that the cultural and historical significance of these masterpieces justifies their extreme price tags. They are one-of-a-kind creations by artistic geniuses and so cannot be replicated. Furthermore, proponents say that those who can afford these artworks have the means to preserve them for the future.
Supporters also maintain that individuals have the right to spend their money however they wish. This is true even if it means paying astronomical prices for artworks. These supporters add that the market should be allowed to dictate the value of art based on supply and demand.
By contrast, critics assert that prices of artworks have spiraled out of control. It is unethical to spend enormous amounts of money on art while ordinary citizens are struggling economically. Additionally, these critics say that such extravagant spending displays a stark disconnect between the rich and the poor.
Detractors also argue that artworks should not belong to any one individual. They are historical artifacts and therefore should be part of the cultural heritage of a nation. This way, all citizens would have the ability to access and enjoy these priceless works of art.
Questions:1. What are some examples of artworks mentioned in the article that sold for very high prices?
2. What is the debate surrounding the escalating prices of art, and what are the arguments of those who support these high prices?
3. According to proponents, why do some argue that the extreme prices of certain artworks are justified?
4. What concerns do critics raise regarding the high prices of artworks, and what do they see as the ethical issue?
5. Do you think the price of an artwork should be determined by its cultural and historical significance, or do you agree with the idea that the market should dictate its value? Why or why not? Should there be any limits or regulations on the pricing and sale of artworks? Why or why not?