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The Independent Online

One of the less publicised side-effects of the banking world's battles for each other's blood is the fate of their pictorial assets. Some of these art collections have been assembled over generations with a good deal of scholarship and, as you'd expect from a bank, a canny acquisitive sense.

One of the less publicised side-effects of the banking world's battles for each other's blood is the fate of their pictorial assets. Some of these art collections have been assembled over generations with a good deal of scholarship and, as you'd expect from a bank, a canny acquisitive sense.

The Flemings Collection is a good example of this: one of the best collections of Scottish art anywhere in the world, and happily preserved as an independent foundation now that the old family bank is part of Chase Manhattan.

Others, however, aren't quite so lucky. The fate of the NatWest collection (now a part of the Royal Bank of Scotland) still remains to be seen. In the balance, too, is whether the bank will continue with the role that it has so carefully carved for itself in the world of contemporary art.

In a relatively short space of time, NatWest put a lot of energy, and no small amount of money, into Contemporary British Art, amassing a well-chosen collection of later 20th-century painting, and establishing the respected NatWest Prize for painting. Before its fate is decided, a selection of the collection is currently on view in Sheffield.

Graves Art Gallery, Surrey Street, Sheffield (0114-278 2600) to 18 Nov

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