Paul Marinko 04 December 2019

TPA hits out at council art collections

TPA hits out at council art collections image

The Tax Payers’ Alliance has also hit out at councils across the UK for owning art collections worth nearly £1.9bn and only displaying less than a third of the pieces.

The pressure group found the average value of collections for each council is around £7m.

Darwin Friend, researcher at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Some councils are able to maximise value for money by maintaining collections which are small enough to be displayed for the enjoyment of the public at all times.

'Other local authorities hoarding their own mystery masterpieces should be following in their footsteps.

It said Manchester City Council topped the list, with a collection worth £369m, but only one in ten pieces on display.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Manchester’s executive member for culture and leisure said its collection had largely been gifted to the authority and was displayed ‘for the enjoyment and education of Manchester people and visitors’.

He added: ‘We are also looking at the redisplay of all of our gallery areas in the next five years, which will allow us to show even more of the collections that haven't been on display in the past.

‘However, due to the volume of pieces in the collection, not all of the art can be exhibited to the public all the time. Our expert curators look after the rotating exhibitions to ensure that it is accessible to Manchester people as often as possible.’

Photo: Rose-wall owned by Chesterfield Borough Council - © David Lally

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