Swedish art academy to sell Rembrandt to raise cash

March 6th, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by admin  

Stockholm, March 6 (DPA) The venerable Swedish Academy of Fine Arts plans to sell a painting by 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt to fund its activities, a news report said Thursday. The academy said it hoped to cash in 300 million kronor ($48 million) on the sale of ‘The Conspiracy of the Batavians under Claudius Civilis’ painted in 1661-1662.

“Our funds have not been depleted, we have never had any,” academy secretary Olle Granath told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

Most of the academy’s funds are tied up in trusts for art stipends and it is strapped for cash to pay for the upkeep of its headquarters in downtown Stockholm that also houses one of the capital’s better-known restaurants.

“It costs a lot to own and run a large building from the 19th century,” Granath said, noting that the painting was insured for 700 million kronor.

The academy would, however, stipulate that a potential buyer agrees to keep the Rembrandt painting at the National Museum on the Stockholm waterfront where it has been on loan since the museum opened in 1866.

The painting was donated to the academy in 1798 “for eternity” by noblewoman Anna Johanna Grill.

The academy has since its inception in the 18th century compiled a sizeable art collection since each new academy member must donate a work of art when joining it.

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