Monday, June 30, 2014

National Treasures - São Paulo

Painting by my 7 year old son.

Personally I think this painting is brilliant. One of my seven-year olds painted it during his last few weeks of school as we headed towards the world cup. However, it turns out that it (and other paintings) are causing me some major problems in leaving this country.

When I got an estimate for our move almost two months ago, the moving company representative spent some time walking around the house and taking photos of art. Not only the large oil painting of the São Paulo coast that was a present to my husband five years ago and is worth some money. Not only the art created by my artist uncle--paintings, constructions.. Not only the acrylic paintings that my dad and I play around with--copies of Matisses and Tarsilas. Every single canvas.  Including this Brazil flag by one son. Including scribbles of dragons and snakes and whatever else. Including a painting done by my stepson when he was ten--a self-portrait in the style of Miró with a signature of said painter at the bottom.

These photos all go to a place called IPHAN. Instituto do Patrimonio Historico e Artistico Nacional. It's the National Heritage police. They make sure that no one is taking artwork of real cultural value out of the country, at least without paying taxes. That means that every single canvas in our house is being analyzed by the art police.

Normally it takes the art police 20 days to "liberate" your stuff. Unfortunately they decided to have a strike during the review period of my "art" and now the backlog is more than a little long. According to my movers, "maybe this week, maybe not". 

Keep your fingers crossed for no more strikes--remember that customs doesn't work on any Brazil game day...and I can think of more than a few other organizations who might be feeling the need for a strike too.

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