That's not really true - detaching frescos from walls is a technique practiced since Roman times (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detachment_of_wall_paintings). However it's probably expensive and labour-intensive, and in this case I imagine nobody wanted to pay for it...
99% of what gives art it's value is that it's collectible and can't be owned by others. Today you can take a good photo of the painting, or replicate statue so well that you need expert to find out it's not the original. Being a good replication will not decrease aesthetic value of art, it just decreases the collectible value and social prestige from owning it (masses can't own originals).
Valuing 'original' is capitalistic invention.
They actually spend money to fund institutions that eat hundreds of millions and what they get is galas and places to mingle. Really really rich are not laundering money. They are burning it to show they are cultured elite and not just rich.
A lot of high priced pieces of art are only sold/bought in the basis of moving money discreetly.
Obviously there is a tax angle here, at which point the tax authorities should care about your chicanery, but I wonder because, even if it isn't realistic to make "mistreatment of art" a civil or criminal liability, you could make it into a social liability.
If you destroy art, or squirrel away an undue amount never to be seen again, or what-have-you, and in return, a number of prestigious artists and art institutes could decline to have anything to do with you. You could no longer serve on the board of the Met, and your donations would be refused. Artists would refuse to sell to you or accept commissions. I suppose it would be counterproductive to stop accepting loans of art to exhibit in the museums, but perhaps they would only be accepted to exhibit anonymously -- no "on loan from Big Wig collection" next to the painting.
This probably wouldn't work if too much of the money that flows to artists and art institutes comes directly from the pockets of billionaires; I'd be surprised if, on aggregate, even
principled people would be willing to cut out more than 5 or 10% of their income as a matter of said principles.
Can't remember their name though
I think "valuing originality" is a human trait. Putting a monetary value on it is a capitalist invention.
Valuing innovation over continuity is one of the distinguishing features of modernity versus traditional cultures.
Then, the World Telegram newspaper ran the headline: "Rivera Paints Scenes of Communist Activity and John D. Jr. Foots the Bill." Pliego says Rivera then decided to add a portrait of communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin to the mural.
"He sent his assistants to find a picture of Lenin because, he said, 'If you want communism, I will paint communism,' " Pliego says.
On top of that, according to David Rockefeller Sr., Rivera added a panel that the family felt was an unflattering portrait of his father.
"The picture of Lenin was on the right-hand side, and on the left, a picture of [my] father drinking martinis with a harlot and various other things that were unflattering to the family and clearly inappropriate to have as the center of Rockefeller Center," he said.