Roya Nikkhah has an article in the Telegraph which details five works of art which have gone missing from the UK Government art collection in the past year:
Details of the missing artworks came from a response to a parliamentary question from Andrew Rosindell, the shadow home affairs minister.
Originally the Government said it had lost eight works between 1 November 2007 and 31 October 2008.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that three of the missing works, by the British artists Julian Trevelyan and John Brunsdon, had since been recovered, but that the whereabouts of five were still unknown.
Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary, said: “It looks like the Government’s inability to keep things safe is catching. We’ve had missing computer discs and missing laptops – now we’ve got missing art.
“It is staggering that eight works can go missing and that five are still lost. Given that the DCMS spends nearly £1 million a year on this collection the least they could do was keep it safe.”
This would seem to be a fairly common occurrence. Is the loss of 5 works out of a total of 13,500 a ‘good’ year? Any missing art is unfortunate, but I wonder how common these losses are, especially given a government collection partially displayed in embassies all over the world. I suppose the Government should at least get some credit for owning up to the losses. Here is a list of the missing works:
- Horse Guards from the Old Entrance, Scotland Yard, 1768, print by Michael Angelo Rooker, In British Embassy, Washington DC, reported missing November 2007
- Monument to Balance print by Ernest Alfred Dunn, In British Consulate-General, Sao Paulo, reported missing July 2008
- The Wording of Police Charges, 1970, print by R. B. Kitaj and Plague, 1970, print by R. B. Kitaj, In British Embassy, Baku, reported missing July 2008
- Yellow Square plus Quarter Blue, 1972, print by William Scott, In Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, reported missing September 2008