Clumsy visitors posing threat to British art

October 30th, 2011 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 30 (IANS) Some of Britain’s greatest art collections, worth tens of millions of pounds, have been damaged due to careless visitors and over-inquisitive children a media report said Sunday.

Handprints, fingermarks and dents have been left on paintings and installations held by the Tate Collection. These include works by abstract artists Mark Rothko and Joan Miro, pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and conceptual artist Damien Hirst, the Daily Express reported.

Tate is an institution that houses the National Collection of British Art, and International Modern and Contemporary Art.

There have been as many as 17 incidents of damage to works on display at the art galleries of Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London and Tate Liverpool in the last three years.

In one such incident, British art star Hirst’s Pharmacy installation, worth over 10 million pounds, was damaged when veneer on a desk was chipped when it was put on display at Tate Britain in June 2009.

Last year, a small L-shaped tear was found in the canvas of Elizabeth Butler’s The Remnants of an Army painting at the same gallery.

A Tate spokeswoman, however, said: “Incidents are relatively rare and Tate receives more than seven million visitors each year and takes all possible measures to ensure the security and care of the collection.”

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