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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 12:46 GMT 13:46 UK
Lloyd Webber leaves art to nation
Lord Lloyd-Webber with Melvin Bragg on the South Bank Show
Lloyd Webber's art will be featured on ITV1's The South Bank Show
Theatre producer Andrew Lloyd Webber is to leave his multi-million pound art collection to the nation when he dies.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, 55, wants to open a museum on his estate in Berkshire to let the public see his paintings - plus theatrical sets and costumes.

He told the Royal Academy of Arts' magazine that people would like to see them "in the context of where I lived".

Before then, art lovers can see his collection for the first time at the Royal Academy in central London from Saturday until December.

Lord Lloyd-Webber's collection is described as one of the finest in private hands and includes works by Picasso, Canaletto and Rossetti.

It has been accumulated after he developed a passion for art at an early age.

He told ITV1's South Bank Show, to be screened on Friday: "Eventually, part of my whole plan, is that my entire art collection, hopefully in situ here when I am dead, will go on display."

Planning ahead

And he told the Royal Academy's magazine that he wanted to keep it in one place, and had already bought land to use as a "staging post" to ferry visitors to the estate.

For now, 200 pieces have been transported from the Sydmonton Court estate to the academy's Piccadilly gallery, where they will stay for three months.

Lord Lloyd-Webber, who was behind hit musicals including Phantom of the Opera and Cats, has a fortune worth an estimated 400m.

The Sunday Times Rich List 2003 said 200m of that came from "royalty income, art and other assets".

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