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"Gold has lost its prestige," says Rico Franses, an art history professor at the American University of Beirut. That's an interesting opinion when gold is at record-breaking prices — it jumped 28% in 2010 to $1,400 an ounce — but Franses, keynote speaker at this Boston art symposium, insists that our modern dollar fixation has actually devalued the precious metal. "When gold was the only store of value, it was sacred. In medieval art, gold was everywhere. Viewed by candlelight, it created a dazzling, spiritual effect," he says. "Today's world doesn't want to be dazzled by gold. We just want to know how much money it can be converted into."


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