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January 27, 2009

Buying Titian for the Nation: Diana and Actaeon

Buying Titian for the Nation: Diana and Actaeon

Emin delivers titian Petition

Tracey Emin delivers a petition to save Titian masterpieces for the nation



Diana and Actaeon 1


The sale of Diana and Actaeon by Titian for £50 million is being negotiated with the Duke of Sutherland Here the painting is at the National Gallery in London being shown for 4 weeks as a part of the fund raising exercise. The visit was later extended as it was so successful.


Late August 2008 the Duke of Sutherland declared to the National Gallery of Scotland that he wished to sell Diana and Actaeon as well as another Titian Diana and Callisto at a later date. The Duke of Sutherland was prepared to accept £50 million for each of them. It is likely that they could fetch three times the amount on the open market. now if this sounds like a financial bargain for the nation one must remember that the tax payable on an open market sale would run into tns of millions of pounds.


As argued elsewhere the financial concerns should be set to one side, the key issue here is the dvelopment of cultural citizenship within the nation which requires high quality cultural products and services in order to achive this. Clearly the opportunity to acquire some 'Old Masters' by a canonical painter is extremely rare. The reason the Damien Hirsts can command such high prices is because there is a shortage of older work available for collectors. Any painting like this must be considered as an investment in lots of different ways. It is an investment in education for a start so that spurious argument about spending the money on schools is vitiated.


Having high quality art by canonical artists gnerates long-term wealth creation through tourism as anybody going around the main London galleries could hardly fail to notice. These visitors create a lot of tax as well as create a lot of employment. Nevertheless there are a lot of retrograde attitudes out there with many coming from those who ought to know better:

"Very few people will ever have heard of Titian, many will have thought he was an Italian football player. What is the point of wasting this money in this way?"(Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Davidson, the member for Glasgow South West)


Davidson's comment is both patronising and at the same time a strong indictment of the educational system!


Diana and Actaeon 2

Diana and Actaeon by Titian


The Scottish National Gallery


Scot Nat Gall Complex


The Scottish National Gallery Complex


Scot Nat Gall


The Scottish National Gallery


At time of writing it sems that the deal is going through there are just some loose ends to be tied up so fingers crossed! This acquisition can only be of long-term benefit to the nations and their citizens.


Webliography


BBC News Story on Sales of Titian


The Art Fund gives £1 million to Titian Fund


Scottish Executive gives £17.5 million towards Titian. The Independent


Lubbock in Independent: Is Titian's Painting Worth Saving?


Andrew Graham-Dixon on keeping the Titians


Titian Fundaraising Sparks Political Row - BBC


Tracey Emin on Saving the Titians -BBC Interview




The Fight for Turner's Blue Rigi


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