The Arts Council and other museum authorities have drawn up new guidelines for councils thinking of selling off artworks to raise funds amid sharp budget cuts.
There have been a number of such cases in
the past year, the latest reported concerning the possibility of
Southampton council selling off art to pay for repairs to the
roof of the city's art gallery.
Now in a joint initiative, The Museums
Association, Arts Council England, CyMAL, Museums Galleries
Scotland and Northern Ireland Museums Council have joined forces to
publish an updated 'Disposal Toolkit' along with additional
guidance on financially motivated disposal, the most controversial
issue in sell-offs, to prevent cynical asset stripping.
"Collections review and disposal are an
important part of good collections management," said an Arts
"The vast majority of disposal activity is
undertaken responsibly by museums and the refreshed toolkit will
provide them with the support and guidance they need to continue
this essential work. The new appendix on financially motivated
disposal will help museums understand the exceptional circumstances
when it is regarded as acceptable to sell items from
Scott Furlong, director of acquisitions, exports, loans and
collections at Arts Council England said: "The provision of these
additional guidelines will further expose those who choose to
approach the sale of collections cynically or with little regard
for cultural value and agreed standards and ethics. They will find
that they alienate both the public and funding bodies who put their
trust in museums to care for our shared inheritance."
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