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The Bargain. The exhibition hall was packed with people jostling for space in the poorly-ventilated gallery. Tourists and curious visitors

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The Bargain The exhibition hall was packed with people jostling for space in the poorly-ventilated gallery. Tourists and curious visitors surrounded the displays and worked themselves into an organized queue from start to finish. The Museum of Art's touring exhibit was a sell-out, with the museum bringing their most famous sculptures, including replicas of larger-than-life statues from Athens. The statues were portraits of royalty, of gods to be honored and worshipped, that deserved the adoration people lavished on them. The models gave off an air of pride, almost aloofness. It was as if they could stare down their chiseled noses with their colourless eyes, and sniff, with disdain, at the commoners that stood in awe at them. The white of their skins seemed iridescent, glowing under the bright lights, vanquishing any guesses that they might be only mortals. The Grecian figures basked in the light of camera flashes, as the public sought to preserve the image of a god, as if trying to take some of their aura home with them. "Showcasing their work instead of mine? The audacity!" Arthur Brown thought and cursed under his breath. ...read more.


Bringing art to the masses was a huge mistake, Arthur had decided, making art seem crude and just objects to be ogled at, with the inexperienced public staring at statues like they had never seen anything like them before. The majority appreciated the sculptures only at face value, proceeding afterwards into the gift shop, where they bought key rings and glossy postcards to show off to acquaintances that they were citizens of high society who knew, and understood the culture of ancient and modern art. There were only a select few from the crowd who could properly appreciate the art, read into its depths and see what the artisans saw and feel what they felt when it was being made. Experienced eyes and minds could share their thoughts and opinions in the quiet galleries, and gain new perspectives, or fresh insights from each other. That was one of the most critical stands Arthur made on the board- while he was still on it. David Pole had the title of principal sculptor instead, snatching it rudely from him when it was obviously his. Arthur had more credentials than David did, and his pieces were more than worthy to be shown to the world. ...read more.


He tried to look confidently around, mimicking the visitors, and he was sure of himself inside, now that it was over and he didn't have to do it again. Arthur reminded himself of the holiday he had planned in Waikiki, lounging at the beach and sipping a margarita in the shade of a palm tree. This had its intended effect of making him less conspicuous and more relaxed, blending in with the crowd. The deal was done, the bargain sealed, and Arthur was free, with his passport in his pocket and a briefcase of cash waiting in the car. However, Arthur had found himself frozen and almost nailed to the ground and unable to walk free. It was probably the nerves and pins and needles, he guessed, earnestly attempting to wiggle his toes. There was also something wrong: he was at least a hundred meters away from David's display case, and was looking over the sea of people, not among them. Maybe all the excitement had put him into a temporary daze, but his fingers could not move an inch. Arthur was mute, unblinking, standing in the midst of camera flashes, with his two thousand year old face set permanently in stone. ...read more.

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