Gallery will loan a Canaletto for a reader of 'The Independent' to hang at home

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For neighbours with competitive tendencies, the opportunity to hang a Canaletto on the living room wall offers the chance to deliver a knockout blow to Mr and Mrs Jones.

A British gallery has agreed to relinquish temporarily ownership of one of the Italian master's views of early 18th-century Venice as part of a competition to encourage public interest in art.

The giant oil on canvas will hang in a private living room for a day. After intense discussions over necessary security arrangements, the Bowes Gallery in Co Durham consented to lend the masterpiece at the behest of the National Art Collections Fund. The chance to gaze upon Canaletto's Regatta from the Grand Canal from the comfort of the family sofa will only be available to readers of The Independent and listeners to the Classic FM radio station.

The prize forms part of a wider project to exhibit pieces of art in extraordinary locations. The fund has persuaded galleries to give up works that are being put on display in homes, shops and places of worship.

A sculpture made from coat hangers by David Mach will be exhibited in Sketchleys dry cleaners in Salford. A Rachel Whiteread sculpture will be moved from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh to Ely Cathedral.

But it is the transfer of the Canaletto that is most ambitious. David Barrie, director of the fund, said: "Canaletto is one of the small number of artists who is a household name. We were very keen to get a work of that stature for this purpose."

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