Masterpiece could fetch pounds 500,000: Brighton museum loses unique Burne-Jones triptych as church struggles to pay for repairs
Thursday 26 August 1993
The curators were powerless to stop them, even though the triptych (above) has been in their museum since 1977 because the owners, St Paul's Church in Brighton, have decided to sell it. When it is auctioned in November, it is expected to fetch between pounds 350,000 and pounds 500,000.
The sale is a last resort for the church that needs pounds 1.7m to save its Grade II listed 1840s building with a spire that is a Brighton landmark. Engineers estimate that within two years, the 150ft tower, which suffered severe damage in the 1987 hurricane, will fall or have to be demolished. At the moment, it is shrouded in scaffolding to protect passers-by.
A Sotheby's spokesman said the church had for years agonised over the sale, exploring every possible way to avoid it, 'even to the point of selling the land on which the vicarage is sited. There was simply no other means of raising the money.' The altarpiece, commissioned for St Paul's in 1861, was loaned to the museum when the church authorities could no longer accept responsibility for it because insurance costs had become too high.
Andrew Barlow, Keeper of Fine Art at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, said: 'Although the museum recognises the Church's financial difficulties, it strongly opposes the sale of such a significant work.'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
General Election 2015: Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind as he casts a line to the disaffected of Grimsby
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
Russian warships accused of 'chasing away' Swedish vessel to prevent Baltic States from achieving energy independence
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...