The Museums Association, founded in 1889 to represent
Britain's museums and galleries, reversed a 30-year ban on selling art
and urged its 1,500 members on Monday to get rid of objects that are
gathering dust, the BBC reported.
"Museums typically collect a thousand times as
many things as they get rid of," Mark Taylor, the association's
director, said in a posting on its Web site (museumsassociation.org.).
"Wonderful collections can become a burden unless they are cleared of
unused objects." The association told its members to give unused art to
other museums or public institutions or, in exceptional circumstances,
to sell it. The organization expressed hope that its new policy would
encourage museums to put some pieces on display, and said it expected
only a few sales each year. Vanessa Trevelyan, convener of the
association's ethics committee and head of Norfolk Museum and
Archaeology Service, said, "Although disposal of items is not without
risk, it is preferable to transfer items to an alternative home where
they will be treasured, rather than retain material that is not
supporting a museum's research, display or interpretation functions."
By The New York Times