Step away from the paintings, moth******er

I came home last night to this headline in my Nottingham Post


It seems that one of my local councillors, Georgina Culley, has come up with a cunning plan to sell off all of Nottingham’s art. I nearly fell off my armchair.

The story suggests,

“There is £75 million worth of artworks that the city owns but the council has no detailed catalogue of, nor can it tell us how much of this collection is, or has ever been, on display.

“Leader Jon Collins and deputy Graham Chapman are asking residents to pay more council tax again this year, asking our poorest residents to pay even more by reducing the council tax support the council provides and increasing rents, but the prospect of selling some of this massive collection has never even been debated.”

I am a city council ratepayer and this is possibly the worst idea I have heard in recent years. I fully accept that the Council is struggling to balance the books – it’s budgets are being cut by central government. There is a suggestion that the Government do want to get Councils to reduce their reserves so that the National Debt is reduced. Most people would agree that in the past there has been waste in our councils. But that is having to be addressed.

But selling our art?

Much of the art has been ‘held’ by the Council for hundreds of years. Some of it was gifted to the City. The collection contains some important local works. Art plays a key part in our rich cultural heritage. We even lent some piccies to the PM back in 2011 – read about that here.

But more importantly than all of this – you do need to remember that you will only sell it once. When it is gone, that’s it. No chance of the collection ever coming back together.

These works belong to the citizens of the city. They are not to be pawned by my local councillor who is looking for a headline.

Hands off Ms Culley.

2 comments on “Step away from the paintings, moth******er

  1. Hi Tim. Some valid points made and I can see the logic in what you say. I may also be worth considering that some of the works will have been purchased with tax payer’s money and I remain to be convinced that all of the collection is important to us. I cannot believe that all the works have a local significance.

    We all have a responsibility to be prudent when times are hard. I hear what you say about only selling it once but I think that the Council needs to lead by example here. this is not about politics, it’s about livelihood and good husbandry :)

  2. Andy, I’m not sure if taxpayers money was used to purchase the paintings – would be interesting to know. I do know from visiting that many of the paintings were bequeathed to the City – so I am unsure if you can actually sell them. To an extent they are an investment in any event – there are lots of areas we can reduce / improve before we sell the last of the family silver.

    I am critical at times of the City Council – but I think at the moment Ian Curryer is doing his best to get the City back on track. He has a tough job – but this sort of knee jerk reaction (and headline grabbing) isn’t particularly helpful!


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