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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 11:10 GMT
Threatened Lowry 'stays on show'

An LS Lowry painting which may be sold by a local council to balance its books will remain on show to the public if it moves, the council has promised.

The painting - a Riverbank - was bought by Bury Council in Greater Manchester for 175 from the artist's agent.

But the council says that if it does decide to sell the 500,000 artwork, it is committed to making sure its new home is another public gallery.

The profits from the painting will help plug a 10m deficit by the council.

The 1947 work by Salford's most famous son, is currently on public show at the town's art gallery.

If it means we have to sacrifice one of our treasured works of art to maintain core services, then that is what we will have to bear
Mark Sanders
Bury Council chief executive

Bury Council says that it "does not reflect the present collection which consists mainly of Victorian narrative paintings".

The painting's future was discussed at a council meeting this week, and a final decision will be made next week.

Chief Executive Mark Sanders said: "We recognise that this painting is popular with the gallery's visitors but will take the decision regarding the painting's future in the context of the current financial situation and with due regard to maintaining a quality gallery and museum service.

"We are committed to delivering top quality services to the people of Bury and if it means that we have to sacrifice one of our treasured works of art in order to maintain core services, then that is what we will have to bear.

"It is one of a range of tough choices we are currently facing."

Other plans include raising parking fees, reducing the amount of road maintenance and cutting opening hours at the borough's art gallery and libraries.




SEE ALSO:
Council to sell Lowry painting
15 Feb 06 |  Manchester
Value of late artist's work soars
16 Nov 05 |  Manchester
Lowry painting fetches 498,000
04 Jun 04 |  Cumbria
Stolen paintings back on show
19 May 03 |  Manchester
Lowry's house to become flats
24 Dec 02 |  England


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