A Pablo Picasso painting valued at 50 million pounds ($77 million) has been sold privately by Christie’s International after U.K. institutions failed to raise the necessary funds to keep it in the country.
Arts Council England , which funnels state subsidies to performing-arts groups and some museums, said it will cut most recipients’ grants 15 percent by 2015, shrink its own staff, and phase out aid to the Arts & Business nonprofit company to meet government belt-tightening requirements.
Arts Council England , the organization that funnels U.K. government aid to the performing arts and to some galleries, announced each institution’s envelope for 2012-15, with London’s Almeida Theatre getting a third less, and the Serpentine Gallery , 31 percent more.
Charles Saatchi , the British collector who last July offered to donate his London gallery and more than 25 million pounds ($41 million) worth of art to the nation, has yet to reach agreement on who they will go to.
The U.K.’s visual-arts sector got off lightly in Chancellor George Osborne ’s spending review while the performing arts got hammered. That’s the headline assessment, and the figures seem to bear it out --superficially, at least.
U.K. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an 80 million pound ($120 million) matching fund to boost cultural philanthropy, saying the rich in Britain gave six times less to the arts than their U.S. equivalents.