There was an item on the Radio 4 Today programme about plans from Conservative run Southampton Council to sell off some works of art. They include After the Race by Sir Alfred Munnings and Eve by Rodin.
It is hoped that the sales will raise £5 million and allow A further one hundred paintings from the permanent collection will be exhibited. It means an increase of 50% of the art works on permanent display. That will increase the access to the 3,500 piece collection.
The Museums Libraries and Archives Council rules state that any sales must enhance the remaining collection.
"We are looking at a Heritage Museum for the first year a focus on the Titanic would be appropriate," said Cllr John Hannides, the Cabinet Member for Culture and Heritage. "The Heritage Museum will also incorporate an extension to the Civic Centre and its that extension which will release space."
Cllr Hannides was debating with Charles Saumarez Smith, chief executive of the Royal Academy, was on debating with Cllr Hannides. But when Saumarez Smith heard what the money was being used for the opposition was rather blunted. "I'd very much like to see more works on display if the City Council are rethinking there position I would welcome that," said Saumarez Smith. It sounds rather more likely that Saumarez Smith had got the wrong end of the stick.
My only criticism is that Southampton Council haven't gone far enough. They will still be left with thousands of art works left in storage, gathering dust.