Friday, July 28, 2017
Oh, sweet Canada. Home to dancing fountains of maple syrup, a Tim Horton’s on every corner, and the friendliest, most apologetic people in the world. What could go wrong in this heavenly wonderland? Oddly enough, a recent issue in the wintery haven concerns a gift. Bureaucrats in the Canadian government are having a hard time trying to decide if they should sign off on a donation of American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz’s art to a gallery in Nova Scotia. The original donor is seeking a $20 million tax deduction after paying only $4.75 million for the 2,070 portraits in the collection. The collection’s value has been independently verified on multiple occasions, but the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board has refused to give the donation its stamp of approval. The director of the museum, Nancy Noble, is hopeful the board will come through on their fourth try.
See Sopan Deb & Colin Moynihan, Canada Debates Whether Gift of Leibovitz Photos Is a Tax Dodge, The New York Times, July 25, 2017.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.