These beautiful paintings have a couple of things in common…any idea what they are?
Firstly, these fantastic works of art were all created during the Victorian Period by such wonderful artists such as Constable and Monet.
You can currently see these at The National Museum however the people who hold it in truist for the nation (ie The British Government) has decided to privatise up to 400 of its 600 staff including those who look after security of the paintings, deal with the public and requests for information about the collection, complaints, school bookings and more. This came just a week after Director Nicholas Penny announced his resignation.
Ten senior managers at the Gallery have left, been made redundant or dismissed in the last two years. A temporary “Security Consultant” responsible for the privatisation used to work for G4S, the private security firm and we know the associated issues they have had in the past.
Only last November the Gallery Executive endorsed the view that privatisation could not guarantee quality of service and would not save money. Now they and the Board of Trustees have announced privatisation is the only option.
So here in lies the issue.
Privatisation is more than likely to turn ‘our’ free National Gallery into a profit making opportunity for friends of the government to make money out of the tourists it attracts both nationally and internationally.
This will exclude many, many people from seeing the great works first hand and is important the culture and art does not just become a plaything of those who can afford it.
There is a petition here if you wish to sign to support the National Gallery and want to keep it free for all, it currently has nearly 40,000 signatures…Please add your own.
London By Gaslight