Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Governments in Europe are seeing a "cash cow" in selling-off their museums' art

By Doreen Carvajal
The Northampton Museum in Britain wanted to sell a 4,500-year-old limestone statue of Sekhemka to finance a remodeling. Credit Leon Neal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images</td>
“There’s an expression in German: ‘Don’t sell your family silver,’ ” said the director, Hermann Arnhold of the Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History. “Would you sell the story of your family? If you sell important artworks, that means selling a part of your history.” Yet, what once seemed unthinkable is suddenly palatable in Europe: The continent’s art treasures more and more are losing sacred status as an inheritance belonging to the people. With government subsidies to public institutions being cut back, museums in countries like Britain, the Netherlands and Germany need the income from art sales to close budget gaps, make repairs or finance expansions. [link]