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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 February 2006, 10:32 GMT
Council's Lowry will go on sale

An LS Lowry painting will be sold to balance a local council's books, it has been decided.

A Riverbank was bought by Bury Council in Greater Manchester for 175 from the artist's agent, but could now fetch up to 500,000.

But the council has committed to making sure that the artwork's new home is another public gallery where it can stay on show.

Several approaches have already been made by potential buyers.

A spokeswoman for Bury Council said that "a couple of galleries" had shown an interest in the 1947 work by one of Salford's famous sons.

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

'Tough choices'

It is currently on public show at the town's art gallery, but the council has said that it "does not reflect the present collection which consists mainly of Victorian narrative paintings".

The final decision to put the painting up for auction was made at a budget meeting at Bury town hall on Wednesday night.

Chief Executive Mark Sanders said: "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."

Ballet to mark death of LS Lowry
23 Feb 06 |  Manchester
Threatened Lowry 'stays on show'
17 Feb 06 |  Manchester
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

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