“Britain Salutes New York,” which brought a multitude of art exhibitions and other cultural events to New York City in the spring and summer, was a giant institutional ad, the kind of promotion that works to evoke a pleasant climate and never mentions the sponsor’s wish to do business. Nothing served the “Salute’s” purposes better than the many exhibitions of English art; they proved that the event was cultural but they also sent a direct, if subliminal, message about the advantages of touring England. Countries that block export of their national art miss a great chance. When Greece lost the Elgin marbles, and when a century ago the French started selling to Americans the Impressionist paintings that no rational Frenchman would pay for, they inadvertently set up one of their most effective enticements to foreign travellers, while still retaining (in both cases) enough analogous art work to fill their own museums....


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