Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I don't know art, but I know what I'd like!

And that's some Mozambique wingnut throwing walking around money at me! I knew it wouldn't be long until the art world chatterboxes started talking about Lurch's Great Investment and here's the first installment from the Boston Globe - John Kerry cashes in on art:
How unsurprising that the John Kerry campaign isn't eager to provide additional details about the senator's second-largest source of income in 2003: the $145,000 capital gain from the sale of his one-quarter ownership of a famous Dutch masterpiece, Adam Willaerts's "The Arrival of Frederick and Elizabeth, Prince and Princess of the Palatinate, at Flushing, 29th April 1613." Is selling 17th-century artwork for profit perhaps too . . . aristocratic for the friend-of-the-people image our junior senator would like to project?
Heck no, us little folks are always dealing in fancy pitchers! We get 'em off eBay! And actually, it's his largest source of income - the reduction for other losses comes later.
In his 2003 tax filing, released last week, Kerry reported $147,000 of income from his day job in the US Senate and the hefty capital gain from the sale of the Willaerts. The form indicated that his share of the painting was acquired by Kerry in 1996. The facts are even more complicated. Teresa Heinz Kerry was a one-half owner of the painting, with art dealer Peter Tillou, when she assigned one half of her interest to Kerry, whom she married in 1995.
No word if the ink is still drying on the "assignment".
"She and I bought it in London about 10 years ago," says Tillou, whose base of operations is now in Litchfield, Conn. "We're very good friends, and she said, `Peter, let's buy it together.' It was an investment for her." The painting never hung in any of Kerry's or Heinz Kerry's domiciles in Boston, Pittsburgh, or Washington, D.C. Tillou kept it in Litchfield or in New York, or showed it at exhibitions, like one held at the Chrysler Museum in Virginia four years ago.

Tillou says he contacted Heinz about buying back the painting, with an eye to reselling it, a few years ago. Over time, he reimbursed her $1 million, her original one-half stake in the purchase price. When he sold it last year to a private collector for $2.7 million, he shared the $700,000 profit with her. One-quarter of the profit, or $175,000, showed up on Senator Kerry's tax return as a capital gain. Kerry reduced the reported gain to $145,000 using offsetting losses.
Here's the net: Teresa gave Lurch $500,000 which turned into $675,000 when it was sold. I guess we now know about the hidden assets Lurch is going to use to pay off the $6.4 million mortgage he took out on the Boston mansion in which Teresa also gave him a half interest. But not to worry folks, Teresa isn't using her fortune to support ole Lurch's campaign! Much.