Beit Appeal Update: IAAH calls on the Government to intervene immediately to stop the sale of the Beit paintings

Beit 1t

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, PORTRAIT OF A BEARDED MAN

I am writing on behalf of the committee of the Irish Association of Art Historians to express our concern and disappointment regarding the sale of paintings from the Beit collection. These artworks form part of a generous gift intended for the benefit and enjoyment of the Irish people. We call upon the Government to intervene immediately to stop the current sale and to prevent any further sales from taking place before all other avenues have been exhausted. To sell such items is most likely to lose them from the state and should be only considered as an absolute last resort. While there can be no doubt that the housing, insurance and protection of an art collection is a problematic and expensive business, the various bodies which have expressed their concern at the impending loss of these paintings have a wealth of experience and ideas which could be drawn upon to assist the Alfred Beit Foundation with plans to find less drastic solutions to their financial difficulties. Every possible effort must be made to retain this precious collection for the patrimony of Ireland and we implore the Taoiseach, the Government and in particular the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, to act now on this matter of national significance.

Jessica Fahy (Chair) and the committee of the IAAH

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