IF you see hordes of Scots queuing up outside Sotheby’s in New Bond Street on Tuesday (March 10) and are wondering why, there is a simple answer.
The auction house are offering a black granite monument, like an epitaph on a memorial, engraved with every occasion the England football team has lost a game.
The untitled work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan is estimated at £400,000-600,000 as part of the single-owner Bear Witness sale. He first exhibited the monument at a London show in 1999 and the roll-call of shame stretches from from Scotland’s 2-1 defeat of England in Glasgow in 1874 to Romania’s 2-1 victory at the 1998 World Cup (it is lucky it doesn’t include defeats since, or the world supply of granite could be under threat).
“I guess it’s a piece which talks about pride, missed opportunities and death,” said Cattelan, enfant terrible of the art world, known for his satirical and humorous sculptures.
His other well-known works include La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) which depicts Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite.
It is believed that Cattelan is working on a new monument to the number of Champions League and Europa League final appearances by Italian clubs in recent times but he can’t find a suitable pebble.