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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 July, 2003, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Brothers win Canaletto for a day
Ben and Alex Haworth
The brothers tucked into a breakfast in front of the painting
Brothers Ben and Alex Haworth turned their north London home into an art gallery on Wednesday when they won a Canaletto masterpiece to hang in their home.

The brothers, from Reading, who now live in Islington, north London, won the chance to look after Canaletto's Regatta on the Grand Canal (1730-35) in a competition to attract new audiences to art.

The painting, worth millions of pounds, shows a crowd enjoying a regatta on Venice's Grand Canal and measures 2.2 by 1.5 metres.

It was moved it to Islington from its usual home at the Bowes Museum in County Durham by the National Art Collections Fund, an independent arts charity.

The fund has been running a six-week promotion bringing artworks out of their usual homes.

To win, the brothers had to explain why they should win the artwork for a day and prove they could physically exhibit the painting.

The brothers' house
London's latest - albeit temporary - art gallery
The painting arrived at the brothers' ex-council house at 7.30am - along with a champagne breakfast.

It was accompanied by security guards and an expert curator to fill the brothers in on their temporary exhibit.


The brothers are no strangers to art on their walls. Ben, 22, is a student at the Slade School of Art.

His brother Alex, 24, a sports agent, said when they had moved in, they knocked a wall down to display some of Ben's work.

"But this is the first thing we've been really happy with," he told BBC News Online.

Alex admitted he had not been a huge fan of Canaletto before winning the painting.

But he added: "I had actually been to Venice and stood where Canaletto had done the sketches for the painting". He said he now thought Canaletto was "awesome".

Though the painting is returning home in the evening, Alex said the art fund was giving them a copy as a reminder of their day as blue-chip art collectors.

"We'll probably hang it on the wall - or else I'll get Ben to knock something out himself."

The BBC's Razia Iqbal
"A little bit of Venice graced their lives"

Canaletto paintings found in barn
27 Feb 02  |  England

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