A Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 is one of the 15 aircraft potentially up for disposal

Imperial War Museum could sell 15 aircraft

Patrick Steel, Issue 111/10, p11, 01.10.2011
Review finds several aircraft are duplicates, non-core or in disrepair
The Imperial War Museum (IWM) is consulting on the disposal of 15 aircraft as part of its five-year-long collections review.

The organisation will give the first option on the aircraft, some of which are being offered as gifts and others for sale, to accredited UK museums. The IWM may subsequently consider other organisations, international institutions and the open market.

Curator Emily Dodd, who is heading the collections review at the IWM, said 15 aircraft had been found to be either outside the core collection, duplicates or in poor condition.

Under The Imperial War Museum Act 1920, the IWM’s board has wider powers of disposal than many other national museums. But Dodd said that following the consultation, which runs until the end of this month, all items under consideration would first have to be approved by the trustees of the IWM and then by the culture secretary.

The museum has recommended that trustees take into account the long-term interests of the individual items.

Sally Colvin, the Museums Association’s collections coordinator, said: “The process for the IWM’s disposal is admirably transparent. The museum followed a rigorous process to start making decisions.

“Importantly, it is a curatorial process, reviewing each collection in turn to look at what is significant, coming up with candidate disposal items, then consulting on their disposal.

“It is good that they are being so open about the process, using Museums Journal and Find an Object online to discuss the disposals and giving other museums a chance to feed into what they are doing.”

Click here to view Find an Object