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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 05:52 GMT 06:52 UK
Questions over gallery's location
Oriel Ynys Mon
A report claimed the location would not 'add any inspiration'
A north Wales art gallery built using charity money may have been built on a site first considered unsuitable, a BBC Wales investigation has found.

Oriel Mon, which opened 13 years ago to house the prestigious Charles Tunnicliffe art collection, is also facing declining visitor numbers.

Plans to house a new exhibition by Sir Kyffin Williams at the gallery have also come under fire.

Anglesey Council declined to comment as no final decision has been reached.

The gallery was built on the outskirts of Llangefni to house the work of renowned wildlife artist Charles Tunnicliffe.

It certainly would not add any inspiration to the art collection
Unpublished report

But BBC Wales has seen an unpublished report prepared in the early 90s by the Wildlife Trust, on the consideration of various sites for the gallery, which ruled out the site eventually chosen for the venue.

The report said of the Llangefni site, "it certainly would not add any inspiration to the art collection" and that "Llangefni offers no scope for a wildlife connection".

The report concludes that "a building in Llangefni would be lost in its surroundings... the insertion of a building of any size and significance in Llangefni would also involve considerable costs, disruption in the life of the town and the building of a multi-storey car park".

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from Anglesey Council also show a 10,000 drop in visitor numbers since the gallery first opened.

Sir Kyffin Williams
There are plans to extend the gallery for Sir Kyffin Williams' works

In 1991/2, 65,339 people visited the Oriel Mon but by 2004/5, the figures had slumped to 55,901.

Now plans to extend the existing art gallery to house another prestigious art collection, paintings by Sir Kyffin Williams, have also come under fire.

The new plans have so far failed to attract the backing of the Welsh Arts Council.

Anglesey artist Wil Rowlands said that the council-led project lacks any transparency. Friends of Sir Kyffin Williams say that the delays by the council are causing the elderly artist a huge amount of frustration and anguish.

Anglesey Council refused to be interviewed on the grounds that no final decisions have yet been made even though the project was given the go- ahead with planning permission in January 2005.

The results of BBC Wales' two-month investigation is set to be revealed on the Radio Cymru programme, Post Cyntaf.


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