Heirs screwed on taxes because sculpture has a bald eagle in it7/25/2012
Most people would be thrilled to find out they had inherited a $65 million Robert Rauschenberg sculpture. Nina Sundell and Antonio Homem probably were, initially, until they found out the piece they’d been left by their art dealer mom, Illeana Sonnabend, came with a $29 million tax bill. Not only that, but the “Canyon” sculpture can’t even be sold, because Rauschenberg incorporated a stuffed bald eagle into the artwork (it’s illegal to “possess, transport, sell or otherwise convey” a bald eagle, alive or dead). Sonnabend’s beneficiaries are lobbying for federal tax collectors to change how much the IRS says the piece is worth, but for now, they’re stuck with a very expensive paperweight. [Source]
What should the Sonnabend heirs do with this money-pit sculpture?