What should Gloucester do with its art profits?

In some cellar in Gloucester, the City Council has a stash of art that is worth a few hundred thousand pounds. The council is going to sell it off to raise funds, but there is now a debate about what to do with it.

Cllr Seb Field has called for the money to be invested in more art for the city, but Cllr Paul James has highlighted that he would prefer to see it used for further development of the City Museum. None of them mention the third way, IE use the funds to bolster the underfunded public services in the city, perhaps fund a library or youth workers.

But maybe that is right, this would be a one-off payment as it were and not a basis for saving services, that requires proper business management. But by the same token, I’m not sure if I agree with Paul either, the City Museum has just had a heap of money spent on it and maybe something else should benefit.

I agree with Seb that maybe more art is the way to go, but I would prefer to see more public art, things that are more accessible on a day to day basis. Gloucester has a good heritage for this, what with monuments and sculptures around the city, some more controversial than others, but is that not the point, to provoke thought and discussion?

I do not want to see it spent on expensive canvass that not many people will really see. Ideally I would like to see
more made of the historic elements of the city, such as the roman remains outside Boots, and making more of it accessible, but also more of the new pieces that we have seen come to the city in recent times.

If some of this money would help maintain the city museum in the longer term then fair enough, it is a great museum, but let’s not put all our eggs in one basket, let’s have some good public art that complements our history and provokes the imagination and debate.


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