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General Chat Thread, SOJ - Save Our Jobs in General; Is your council sitting on a load of loot and talking about huge numbers of public sector job losses? Mine ...
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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    SOJ - Save Our Jobs

    Is your council sitting on a load of loot and talking about huge numbers of public sector job losses? Mine is and this guy has the right idea:

    BBC News - Critic calls for councils to sell art to save services

    In our Art Gallery there's a Lowry for a start that's worth a few million that hardly anyone goes to see. Selling this on the art market would raise a few million and safeguard a considerable number of jobs & services. There's also a number of other works by less notable artists including a dreadful piece by Damien Hirst. Sell the @*&%$! lot!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I disagree. Selling off the country's art to pay for a short term money shortage is short-sighted and premature.

    Why not sell all our landmarks too? Let them get dismantled and shipped off. Do a country-wide 'yard sale' so that in a few years, we have no cultural history to look back on.

  3. Thanks to localzuk from:

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with selling off art to raise capital for things other than reinvestment in the same collection is that it destroys the reputation of the gallery in the art world. That means you can kiss goodbye to visiting collections, loaned pieces, and support when the gallery needs it.

    Some of the pieces may be junk in some people's eyes, but the fact that it's worth selling means it has value.

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Agree with localzuk - if the Labour Government hadn't flogged off most of the gold reserves (with the price gold has risen to now that would have been a pretty pile of dosh) and squandered revenue from the Scottish oilfields then the Country would be in a much better financial situation than it currently is that's for sure.

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    pooley's Avatar
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    Short sighted in the long term I agree, but if its a tossup between some building having 30k piece of art that's in storage and me losing my job and not being able to support my family, then bu@@er the future and let me feed my kids now!

  7. 2 Thanks to pooley:

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pooley View Post
    Short sighted in the long term I agree, but if its a tossup between some building having 30k piece of art that's in storage and me losing my job and not being able to support my family, then bu@@er the future and let me feed my kids now!
    Doesn't quite work that way though, as it means in the future, there's less value to the country and therefore less tourists, meaning less income to our towns, less tax, less jobs etc... Artwork is a long term investment, adding to the reason for people to visit the country, and for our own people to go and see.

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    I can understand why people would be against selling art but how much cultural benefit does it really give when such large amounts of it are in storage? Would it not be better to sell it to an appreciative collector who may be able to show it privately or simply hang it for his/her personal enjoyment?

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    pooley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Doesn't quite work that way though, as it means in the future, there's less value to the country and therefore less tourists, meaning less income to our towns, less tax, less jobs etc... Artwork is a long term investment, adding to the reason for people to visit the country, and for our own people to go and see.
    But with 79% of it in storage who does it benefit? If its in storage its not being used to bring in tourism etc, its just taking up space in some storage unit somewhere?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    I can understand why people would be against selling art but how much cultural benefit does it really give when such large amounts of it are in storage? Would it not be better to sell it to an appreciative collector who may be able to show it privately or simply hang it for his/her personal enjoyment?
    It isn't always in storage, it gets lent out to other galleries, the collection on display gets changed etc... Much like large libraries - a lot of their collection is in storage, but can be called up for people when asked for.

    How many people here actually visit their local galleries and see how they run, changing their collection month by month etc...?

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Why not sell all our landmarks too?
    Aren't the govt selling off swathes of forest? Maybe I'm missing something, but the only way I can see a business making money from a forest is by using it as a building plot.

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    Some of the pieces may be junk in some people's eyes, but the fact that it's worth selling means it has value.
    I think the point that the OP was making was that the Lowry piece gets very few views, so why keep it?

    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    Agree with localzuk - if the Labour Government hadn't flogged off most of the gold reserves (with the price gold has risen to now that would have been a pretty pile of dosh) and squandered revenue from the Scottish oilfields then the Country would be in a much better financial situation than it currently is that's for sure.
    If the Tory government hadn't sold off the gas/water/electric/train companies etc then maybe we wouldn't be being ripped off to such a huge degree. Isn't a large part of the deficit also due to the banking bail out?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    If the Tory government hadn't sold off the gas/water/electric/train companies etc then maybe we wouldn't be being ripped off to such a huge degree. Isn't a large part of the deficit also due to the banking bail out?
    No, the deficit is separate to the banking bailout - it is being accounted for separately to the normal 'running of the country', and is being added to our debt as a country but not the deficit. The deficit is simply due to not enough money coming in to the government, and too much being spent by them, meaning that they have the options available of - increase taxes, reduce spending, encourage new business, and reduce job losses.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    No, the deficit is separate to the banking bailout - it is being accounted for separately to the normal 'running of the country', and is being added to our debt as a country but not the deficit. The deficit is simply due to not enough money coming in to the government, and too much being spent by them, meaning that they have the options available of - increase taxes, reduce spending, encourage new business, and reduce job losses.
    Thanks for explaining that. The govt seem to not be making any effort on the 4th option, though - as evidenced by the title of this thread.
    Last edited by LeMarchand; 29th November 2010 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Nope ... don't sell of art. Don't sell of any assets if you can help it. Although the asset might not be a short-term money earner they are also used by institutes as means of securing funds as collateral. The reason why councils can get good deals on loans is because banks know that the council can sell of land or other assets if it needs to. If you have no assets to start with then you make it more difficult for councils to deal with sudden shortfalls in cash (and it is cashflow which is the big problem atm).

    As for the stuff in storage ... it gets circulated. Sometimes to other galleries in return for borrowing their stuff, or to overseas or private galleries to earn money.

    It means that there can be a steady flow of works of art around the country for years to come. If we sell it off then we have to rent it from the buyers ... and the money which was earned selling it soon disappears and we have no assets left.

    Unfortunately the UK has a stigma about going to art galleries as it is seen as 'posh' and posh is a bad word at the moment. The fact that a large number of galleries where put up by philanthropists at no cost to previous governments (and some still are) with the idea of sharing access to the wealth of art the nation owns ... but through mis-management of galleries or from actions of certain parts of previous governments (and the civil service) it is difficult to get people along to arts events ... unless it is deemed a 'modern' piece ... such as standing on a plinth for an hour.

  16. 2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:

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    actech's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    The State Government here are selling off assets to get themselves out of a HUGE deficit that they have incurred. They only people in the long run that will benefit from it are the brokers, lawyers and accountants. Now the premier is facing the battle of her career as there are not many people that want her around anymore. Selling off public assets is a waste of time and a short-term patch at best. Fix the bigger problems first

    Anna Bligh leading Queensland Labor to electoral oblivion


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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    How many people here actually visit their local galleries...?
    I think that sums it up quite nicely; how many people do actually go to art galleries? Not many I'll bet. (No, I'm not talking about London or any other major tourist city)

    Although I don't generally agree with selling off assets you've got to weight up the value of something in cash terms verses its value in tourism/heratage/etc. In tech_guys example of a Lowry worth millions can anyone seriously say its worth millions in terms of tourism? Without jobs paying peoples wages how exactly are these people going to go to the art galleries?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Unfortunately the UK has a stigma about going to art galleries as it is seen as 'posh' and posh is a bad word at the moment. The fact that a large number of galleries where put up by philanthropists at no cost to previous governments (and some still are) with the idea of sharing access to the wealth of art the nation owns ... but through mis-management of galleries or from actions of certain parts of previous governments (and the civil service) it is difficult to get people along to arts events ... unless it is deemed a 'modern' piece ... such as standing on a plinth for an hour.
    Whatever the reason the fact remains, people don't go to galleries. Look at our local one, the highest number of people who have ever been to it came when Top Gear were there!
    Last edited by j17sparky; 29th November 2010 at 10:22 AM.

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