Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 06 July, 2006
Written Answers. - Semi-State Bodies.
Mr. Wall Mr. Wall
Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the efforts he is making to ensure that the valuable assets, paintings, fixtures and fittings of the Great Southern Hotels chain are retained in State ownership; if he will clarify the ownership of all the paintings, fixtures and fittings of the chain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26924/06]
Mr. M. Higgins Mr. M. Higgins
Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the estimated value of paintings hanging in the Great Southern Hotels chain; what will happen to these paintings following the decision to sell-off the hotel group; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26926/06]
Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin
Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if his attention has been drawn to the removal of 54 paintings from the Great Southern Hotels earlier in 2006 and their subsequent valuation by auctioneers in Dublin; the reason these paintings were sent for valuation; if he will clarify the precise ownership of these paintings; if he has had discussions with the Dublin Airport Authority and the Arts Council regarding these paintings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26925/06]
Mr. O’Donoghue Mr. O’Donoghue
Mr. O’Donoghue: I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 13 and 47 together.
The Arts Council is a statutory body under my Department’s aegis, and is the principal channel through which State support is directed to the Arts. The Council is operationally independent of my Department, but it is understood from the Council that there are 143 works in the collection in question, which were jointly funded under the Arts Council’s Joint Purchase Scheme. These works include works by Gerard Dillon, Patrick  Collins, Louis le Brocquy and Basil Blackshaw. These were purchased primarily in the 1960’s and 1970’s, at a cost to the Council of £7,233. The total cost of these works came to £14,466.71.
The Arts Council is aware of the potential issues arising from the sale of these works and is in touch with the CEO of the Great Southern Hotel Group in this regard. On my instructions, my Department has also written on the matter to the CEO of the Dublin Airport Authority and has asked for a report on the matter. I understand that potential vendors are obliged to notify such intended sales to the OPW so that first option of such items may be exercised by the state collecting institutions. The Dublin Airport Authority has responded to my Department and has confirmed that it will comply fully with State guidelines in this matter. Furthermore, the DAA has confirmed that it will consult fully with my Department on the issue.
Question No. 11 answered with Question No. 9.
Dáil Éireann 623 Written Answers. Semi-State Bodies.