Proceeds from the sale of the 24 items will be invested in boosting the town's cultural services

Croydon Council to sell off 24 Chinese ceramics

Rebecca Atkinson, Issue 113/09, p5, 01.09.2013
Council recommends sale despite objections by locals, ACE and MA
Croydon Council has approved the sale of 24 items from its antique Chinese ceramics collection, despite objections from the Museums Association (MA), Arts Council England (ACE) and the local community.

A council committee recommended the sale at auction, with the proceeds to be invested in cultural services, including local arts centre Fairfield Halls.

Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “Clearly, this has been a hard decision to make, and one that we have not taken lightly.”

He added that the costs of maintaining the collection did not provide value for money to Croydon taxpayers.

Responding to the decision to sell, Scott Furlong, director of acquisitions, exports, loans and collections at ACE, said: “It is of great importance that the public retains trust in museums to look after the collections held in its name.

We are concerned that this trust may be undermined if disposals from public collections are seen to be driven by financial considerations.”

He confirmed that ACE would be assessing Croydon Council’s Accreditation status in the coming months.

The MA has also objected to the sale on the grounds that it does not meet its code of ethics on disposal.

David Anderson, president of the MA and director-general of National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru, said: “Croydon’s decision to sell valuable Chinese ceramics threatens not just its own reputation, but that of the museum sector as a whole.”

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