Council may pay £5k a year to liberate art and get it on public display here

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Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee on Tuesday recommended contributing £5,000 a year to the civil service’s art collection.

The idea is to liberate the collection from Stormont storage and make it more widely available in public buildings across the city.

The Committee agreed to make the contribution after an Art Advisory Panel, established by Finance Minister, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir last September, asked for support.

The collection comprises 1,400 works, valued in 2012 at £2m. A thousand are on loan, mostly across the Civil Service office estate, but the remainder are in storage at Stormont.

Committee Chair, Shauna Cusack, suggested making the collection more widely availble would be “a fantastic opportunity”.

Sinn Féin’s Michael Cooper said: “The idea of the fund is to make it more accessible and getit out of storage.”

“We’re talking about some very, very expensive items.”

He also said he looked forward to the fund facilitating the commission of new works by up and coming artists.