One idea being bandied about among the Degas scholars and those collectors who have spent millions of dollars on Maibaum’s sculptures is to convene a symposium that will allow all sides of the debate to air their views in a “litigation-free zone,” if you will. “I’ve encouraged people to get over their litigation hang-ups,” Beale, one of the Degas experts, told me recently. “The concern for litigation is beyond the pale.”Discussion in a litigation-free zone... what a concept! As if, in some later lawsuit, a judge would exclude evidence of these statements under some new "litigation-free zone" privilege.
These people are tied up in knots because some art is a reproduction of the original that the artist worked on directly. For commerce purposes, there needs to be hierarchy within the reproductions. The indestructibility of bronze may have bothered Degas, but these buyers and sellers today are tormented by the endless reproducibility of the thing that is not bronze. (It's wax!)