Sir Alfred Munnings' After the Race could be sold (Copyright: Tate)
A lottery grant to help fund a cultural quarter in Southampton could be under threat over plans to sell works of art.
Southampton City Council believes it can raise £5m by selling pieces by French sculptor Auguste Rodin and British painter Sir Alfred Munnings.
It also wants a £4.5m Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant for the £15m centre, which will also house a Titanic museum.
But the HLF said it did not normally expect money from the sale of heritage items to be used in this way.
A spokesperson added: "We would not normally expect the proceeds of the sale of heritage to be used to create partnership funding for a project.
"We are having ongoing discussions with Southampton City Council regarding this matter and cannot comment further for the time being."
Councillor John Hannides said the new centre would allow more of the council's nationally important 3,500-piece collection of British 20th and 21st Century art to be displayed.
The Southampton art collection, valued at £180m, is considered the third most significant outside of London, behind Birmingham and Manchester.
It boasts works by Turner, Lowry, Monet and Angel of the North creator Antony Gormley.
Mr Hannides added: "The plans that we have will significantly improve the collection and indeed (deliver) a new wing for the art gallery museum.
"People are getting the wrong impression, we are actually looking at creating a heritage museum."
A final decision on whether the works will be sold will be made later this year.