Land Art's Expired Lease Raises Questions

A recent bid to lease the land that houses Spiral Jetty, the iconic piece of landscape art by Robert Smithson, has raised questions about whether art on land can be owned and where the line between the two should lie.
July 15, 2011, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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Entrepreneur and artist Greg Allen has launched a bid to lease the land on which Spiral Jetty sits after the previous leaseholder's lease expired. He's hoping to pull the site out of limbo.

"In the case of Spiral Jetty, however, Greg seems to be asserting that what we have here is something closer to architecture, where a building can be owned by one person and the land underneath it by another. (Unsurprisingly, this is not good news when it comes to property values.)

But in the case of lend-lease buildings, the lease on the land is, as a rule, held by the owner of the building. It takes a former investment banker like Greg Allen to come up with the idea that the leaseholder could be different from the owner of the building, with all the "invigorating conceptual implications" that implies."

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Published on Friday, July 8, 2011 in Reuters
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