Leading article: Golden age

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Maybe you thought all that had gone out with the credit crunch; that the Damien Hirst sale set the seal on the age of excess and a return to the spare lines of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore was just around the gallery corner. If so, you would be wrong.

The British Museum has just unveiled a statue of... wait for it... Kate Moss, wrought in 50 kilograms of solid gold. We would spare the British Museum's blushes by pointing out that the statue is just one exhibit in a show of contemporary sculpture called Statuephilia. We would also stress that Ms Moss was not sculpted by Marc Quinn just for being Kate Moss, or a celebrity, or the sometime other half of Pete Doherty, but as the embodiment of ideal beauty in our time – which should be one consolation. The other is that, if things become so bad that the Bank of England risks bankruptcy, the mega-carat Ms Moss could be requisitioned by the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and melted down.

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