Re: Re: Bank of Ireland, College Green

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Bank of Ireland to sell art collection
Saturday, 15 May 2010 07:42
Bank of Ireland is to sell its art collection and put the proceeds towards its community and charitable investment programme.

The bank currently owns 2,000 pieces of art, which is one of the largest collections in the country.

The works, which are valued at €5m, will be sold on the open market.

A spokeswoman for AIB has said the future of its art collection was under review.

A spokeswoman for Anglo Irish Bank said any decision on the future of its collection would be made by its board and management in line with the wishes of the Minister for Finance.

Labour Spokeswoman on Arts Mary Upton said all of the banks’ art collection should be made available to the public.

The proceeds should be taken off the next preference dividend and the collection kept intact if the government will allow BoI to off set the tax benefits of the donations to their charitable programmes; if you had to paint 2,000 walls to cover up the picture staining it could cost close to €5m making this almost a revenue neutral exercise. Barings still has its art collection and they were in a much worse state than BoI and this way the bank could buy the collection which has been carefully assembled over time back when their business plan bears fruit; scattering the collection to the four winds into a very poor art market makes no sense except for the auctioneer who gets the fee.

There is no doubt great anger being directed at the banks at present due to their lending policies but tokinistic gestures such as this are just as short sighted as the lending policies that put them into this position in the first place. Sorting out the BoI balance sheet will hinge on their capital raising which will be billions in scale and in that regard €5m less the costs of repainting the affected walls denuded of their art will be a pittance.

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