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MP calls on council to show artwork
8:44am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
COLCHESTER’S MP has called on Essex County Council to display its artwork around the county.
The council has around 91 works, including photos, watercolours, maps and official documents, which it holds in trust on behalf of Essex residents. Altogether they are worth £14.3 million.
Many are hanging in Essex County Council owned buildings.
Sir Bob Russell has written to the council asking the collections to be put on display.
He said: “These works are kept in trust by the County Council on behalf of Essex residents.
“Instead of being, in the main, hidden from public enjoyment, I feel they should be released for display around the county.
“Colchester’s gallery at the VAF, which already has a dedicated secure area for valuable pieces, would provide an ideal venue for a revolving exhibition.”
Councillor Jeremy Lucas, councillor responsible for customer services, environment and culture said the council was not locking away its collection.
He said: "This is why we were an early participant in a joint project which made our oil and acrylic paintings publicly available online since 2009.
"This was through a joint project by the Public Catalogue Foundation and the BBC titled ‘Your Paintings’, which set about uncovering the nation’s publicly owned art.
“In addition 92.5% of our collection is hanging, with the remaining few pieces set aside for restoration and the art works can be viewed by members of the public by appointment for the art on display in secure areas”.
To make an appointment to visit the collection, members of the public should call 01245 435517.