If you own that art, it’s not yours. The IRS owns it instead.


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If you own that art, it’s not yours. The IRS owns it instead.

The object under discussion is “Canyon,” a masterwork of 20th-century art created by Robert Rauschenberg that Mrs. Sonnabend’s children inherited when she died in 2007. Because the work, a sculptural combine, includes a stuffed bald eagle, a bird under federal protection, the heirs would be committing a felony if they ever tried to sell it. So their appraisers have valued the work at zero.

But the Internal Revenue Service takes a different view. It has appraised “Canyon” at $65 million and is demanding that the owners pay $29.2 million in taxes.

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4 comments

  • Good grief. I’d tell the IRS, “see you in court.”

  • Patrick

    I think they can sell it if they have the paper work that proves the bird was harvested the endangered species act. Just like ivory and scrimshaw art.

    The fact that no matter what, it can never be replicated or replaced because of the real eagle in it could mean its worth even more.

  • Kelly Starks

    As Obama said. You think you did that bacuse your so smart and hardworking – no someone gave you that.
    .. so they are going to take it back.

  • I’d say “It’s yours”. Let the IRS figure it out.

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