Sunday, August 31, 2008

Never Forget We Have A Choice...

I'm back on the subject of save the Titians so that the Duke of Sutherland will be better off by around £100 million and naturally the cultural health of the nation will also be saved - just as long as these pictures remain in Scotland. I watched Songs of Praise this evening and there was a piece on the programme about a project in Glasgow called Galgael.  This is what the Songs of Praise web site says about them.

Colin MacLeod led the protest movement against the construction of the M77 motorway in Glasgow. It was a battle he lost, but having discovered the potency of community he founded Galgael (The Foreign Gael), and organisation dedicated to making those who are or feel outside become restored and affirmed. He believed in the spiritual value of developing skills in working with natural materials, and in Galgael's workshop old bits of wood are turned into beautiful artifacts. Recycling things, and recycling people who have been rejected. Galgael specialises in building, reconstructing and restoring boats, believing that launching out in something you have helped build, setting off on a journey, and arriving at a destination, are vivid life and faith metaphors. After Colin died two years ago, his vision was sustained by a team led by his widow Gehan.

Now some might say that we should support that as well as buying the Titians. Well life is about choices and if I had to choose I'd put a million pounds into a hundred Galgaels before I'd buy a single Titian. Watching the guy on the programme talking about how it had saved him from addiction issues was a thousand times more moving than the Director of the National Gallery of Scotland telling us how important the Titians are to our cultural well-being. Of course the whole thing is some sophisticated form of artistic blackmail. Because once the paintings are bought for £100 million the remainder of the Bridgewater Collection - of which the Titians are part - will remain on long-term loan at the National Gallery of Scotland, where they have been on display since 1945

Just so as you know The Duke of Sutherland is a serial seller of old masters to the nation, which are paid for, in part, by us. In 2003 he was paid £11.6m for another Titian through funding raised by the galleries, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish Executive and the National Art Collections Fund.

1 comment:

Dragonstar said...

This puts the whole business into perspective for me.

Galgael sounds an excellent project, and well worth financial support.

If the Duke of Sutherland doesn't want his paintings on free loan, he should take them back. People are more important than paintings, however beautiful the paintings are.