The insurance valuation of artwork owned by Bradford Council, which includes illustrious figures such as David Hockney and LS Lowry has been under valued by over ten million. The authority had been insuring its collection of 4,000 items for £20m but a new valuation has discovered that 195 pieces in the council’s collection was worth more than £30m.
The BBC reported that the council was in “on-going discussion” about the true valuation and insurance cover after auditors flagged it up as a “key concern”.Opposing parties have now called for some art to be sold to fund services.The Labour-controlled council owns about 4,000 fine art pieces, with some on public display and others kept in storage.’Difficult times’
Glen Miller, leader of the Conservatives, said: “Bradford Council’s debt is £631m, we’re paying interest on that alone of £31m.”We don’t need to sell it [artwork] all off but if it’s been purchased with taxpayers’ money we need to look at using revenue from that.”Jeanette Sunderland, the Liberal Democrat leader, said “times were really difficult in Bradford” and the council needed to look at whether it was getting “best value for money”.The authority’s leader Dave Green said selling off the artwork would be detrimental to the city’s “cultural and historical legacy”.
Bradford is home to one of the most innovative art colleges in the north. David Hockney and Tom Phillips both attended Bradford College and have gone on to have successful careers. Hockney received the Queen’s Companion of Honour award on his 60th birthday in 1997 and in 2000 was made a Freeman of the city. More recently Hockney has returned to his beloved East Yorkshire where he used to paint as a teenager and as an adult visit his mother and sister in Bridlington. The East Yorkshire landscape has provided the primary source of inspiration for his most recent work.
Much of Hockney’s work is now housed locally at the 1853 Gallery at Salts Mill in Saltaire Village. The ground floor showcases early drawings to recent oil paintings and on the third floor, there is a special show of opera sets, paintings and drawings, a fitting accolade to David Hockney’s versatility and prolific output.