TIME society

Artist Hid $16,000 Worth of Gold on a Beach, and You Have to Find It

Single gold ingot.
Single gold ingot. Anthony Bradshaw—Getty Images

Starting today, it's finders-keepers.

There is about £10,000 ($16,000) worth of gold bullion buried in the sand on a beach in England as part of an innovative public art installation. Oh, and starting today it’s finders-keepers.

German artist Michael Sailstorfer buried the bars in the sand of Outer Harbour beach in Folkestone, England as part of the Folkestone Triennial, a public art project. The mad dash to uncover the buried treasure will begin this afternoon when the tide goes out, and if you find one of the gold bars, it’s yours.

But how, some might ask, is giving away free gold a work of art?

Lewis Biggs, the Triennial curator, told The Guardian that the art piece is about what the lucky few will do with the gold, rather than about the precious metal itself: “Do you take it to the pawnbrokers or do you take it to Sotheby’s? Or do you keep it on the mantlepiece because you think it is going to be worth more later?”

Claire Doherty, the director of the group who commissioned Sailstorfer’s piece, told The Guardian that the beauty of the project is that it will endure even after all the gold is found, sold or displayed: “A lot of people won’t admit to having found one even if they have. Would you?”

 

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