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Government Art Collection

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which Ministers have artwork from the Government Art Collection in their offices; what requests the collection has received for changes to the artwork hanging in ministerial offices in each of the last five years; and what the average cost of (a) exchanging and (b) hanging a new artwork from the collection has been over the same period. (96238)

A list of which Ministers have works of art from the Government Art Collection in their offices and what requests the collection has received for changes to the works of art hanging in ministerial offices in each of the last five years is provided in a separate document. I am arranging for copies of this document to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Government Art Collection (GAC) spends approximately £130,000 from its annual Programme Vote on transport and installation in major Government buildings in the UK and all around the world, as well as the transport of works of art to and from conservators and framers. The GAC employs freelance specialist fine art transporters and installers for these jobs.

It is not possible to provide a meaningful figure for the average cost of exchanging and installing an individual work of art in a Minister’s office. For reasons of economy, the installation of groups of works of art in ministerial and other offices and areas in departmental buildings—such as entrance halls, waiting rooms, conference rooms, corridors, etc.—are almost always batched together in the same job. Additionally, time taken to remove and install works of art in offices may vary due to the size, weight, number and handling difficulties of individual works and physical considerations such as the type of wall involved, etc. Individual GAC staff costs would also have to be taken into consideration, to include recording all moves of works of art, assistance with initial selections of works of art, organising their transport and installation, and overseeing the installation itself.