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.'
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat
- 1 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 2 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 3 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 4 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Australian jihadist Abdullah Elmir vows Isis will fight 'until black flag is on the top of Buckingham Palace'
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We require experienced and quali...
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We are urgently seeking an exper...
£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 5 month Fixed Term Contract - Telecommunicati...
£18000 per annum + competitive OTE: SThree: Progressive in Manchester is seeki...