Login Register

Debate on sale of Gloucester City Council's art

By The Citizen  |  Posted: September 20, 2011

Leader of the city council Paul James

Comments (0)

PROFITS from the sale of city artifacts should be used to buy more art, according to a Gloucester councillor.

Fourteen works of art could be sold, potentially boosting the city council's coffers by £381,000.

But Councillor Sebastian Field (Lib Dem, Kingsholm and Wotton) wants to see this money spent on commissioning new art for the city.

"The Liberal Democrats agree with the principle of selling them off, but what we want them to do with the money is buy new pieces of art that will be relevant to the city and commission some new public art like the Kyneburgh Tower," he said.

"Art is always seen as frivolous expenditure but it brings people into the city."

The discussion centres around 11 paintings, two barometers and one sculpture currently owned by Gloucester City Council and being stored in the city's vaults.

The council's cabinet has approved plans to sell the pieces, subject to the Museums, Libraries and Archives giving their approval.

The minimum amount these works could get at auction is £254,000.


Leader of the city council Paul James said while he would love to see more public art in Gloucester, he feels the money would be best spent on further improvements at the city museum, which has recently undergone a £500,000 makeover.

"There is no intention of us using the sale of the items to fund general spending," he said.

"The first call on any money we get should be to complete the transformation of the museum."

The matter will be debated at the full council meeting on Thursday.

Read more from Gloucester Citizen

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters
  • cncnncncnc  |  September 21 2011, 11:47PM

    Why have we got art sitting in a vault anyway? If it is not on display somewhere then it is wasted on Gloucester. Sell it to a city that would appreciate it and not lock it out of sight!

  • tommadeit  |  September 21 2011, 9:24AM

    I think it would be an excellent idea to have asculpture of Paul James, Mark Hawthorn and Richard Graham in the middle of the Kings Quarter - the new architechs of Gloucester.

  • Alf58  |  September 20 2011, 9:41PM

    Still selling off the family silver..... mind you, I didn't know we still had any left - they must have gone down in to the darkest recesses of the cellar!

  • atters1972  |  September 20 2011, 9:04PM

    The problem with both the "kebab" and the "cd rack" is that along with many things in Gloucesterthere are no explanations to the visitor as to what it is and why its there. Both pieces of art I feel are also poorly illuminated.

  • Barquentine  |  September 20 2011, 7:37PM

    They'd better not be selling the Guardi and the Atkinson Grimshaw!

  • MikeH62  |  September 20 2011, 4:37PM

    So if that CD Tower is supposed to be a well, celebrating a murder, when can we expect a similarly extravagant tribute to Fred West?

  • zinger1  |  September 20 2011, 3:40PM

    I always said the council was full of artists, how about spending the money on training youngsters to become artists. Not only would it get them off the streets and doing something positive but it could provide this city with the next generation of people with direction and ambition.

  • Glevum_Girl  |  September 20 2011, 1:32PM

    So cuts need to be made and libraries have to be run by volunteers yet the money from the city artifacts is going to be spent on pretty things....I don't understand the logic, how can pretty things be more important than re-investing the money into keeping the services that are needed?

  • Fat_Sam  |  September 20 2011, 12:59PM

    Yes, all art is subjective, but good art could be defined as something /most/ people accept. The St Kyneburgh Tower looks like a CD rack only by those wishing to poor scorn over it. Personally, I think it looks quite good. Good art can be used as symbols of a city comfortable with itself by way of issuing bold statements about itself. Hence why all major cities around the globe have major pieces of public art. A city devoid of public art is an anonymous, soulless city.

  • Quasi2010  |  September 20 2011, 12:46PM

    SandraPee. If the CD rack is supposed to represent a well, do you suppose the builders had the plans upside down? Joking aside, I believe there was actually a church built on the site of the well, which is why we now have the worlds largest CD rack representing a Saxon church tower.