Hitting the bottle

300px" />The National Maritime Museum in


Greenwich has bought for £362,500 the ship in a bottle by google_ad_width = 970; Yinka Shonibare which had sat ornamentally becalmed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for the previous 18 months. It is the Greenwich museum’s job to collect
ships src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"> and related tackle and, lately, any sea-related nonsense deemed  ‘challenging’ by State Art’s omniscient spivs. It is significant, if you hadn’t realised, that the ship’s sails are made from patterned

ethnic material of the sort usually swathed around gigantic arses in Dalston market. This encourages what one of the Tate’s finest drivellers grandly declares as “a transformation of perception”. Elsewhere, the same stuff is said to make an incisive comment on Britain’s nasty maritime heritage, “an exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism” no less. Needless to say we are not informed into what our “perception” is “transformed”, nor how “colonialism” is “explored” by deploying some patterned swatches purchased
from a Brixton stall. I suppose we must now accept this species of commentary as the naturally occurring guff which /* xin2 */ will
in perpetuity follow conceptual art wherever it goes.

The sculpture, dubbed Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, has recently been unveiled on

is surely just

little questionable, but the truth is that this figure is nowhere near what was actually paid for it. The real price far exceeded
the published number, but you won’t have found the full, accurate cost in any newspaper google_ad_client = "ca-pub-3967079123942817"; because even now we can’t be certain we know all the amounts involved.

When the


was gleefully trumpeted, as though we’d just acquired for peanuts a lost masterpiece

Process Overview:

by Praxiteles, a breakdown of the cost was supplied. This was based on the interesting claim put about by the artist’s dealer that an unnamed South Korean businessman had been prepared to pay £1.25 million in order to display the bottle

not, it should be. The Arts Council, perennially bleating about its poverty, should surely google_ad_width = 970; be on the case for a return
of its investment. As usual our requests to them for information have been ignored. They are far too busy producing worthless pamphlets of self-congratulation.

The price paid by the NMM was independently assessed