Bloomberg reports on the sale of items from ING’s extensive collection:
ING, the Amsterdam-based company that got a 10 billion euro ($14 billion) lifeline from the Dutch government in October, is selling about 10 percent of its 25,000-piece collection of contemporary art, which includes works by Karel Appel, Michael Raedecker and Diego Rivera and is on display in 1,300 locations. The average value of the items, mostly graphics, that are up for sale is estimated at 200 euros apiece.
“We’re still expanding the collection,” Annabelle Birnie, head of ING Art Collection, said in an interview on Jan. 7. “A good collection needs to be maintained and that’s also endorsed. We, of course, take into account ING’s current financial situation” and buy new works of art “modestly.”
[ . . . ] The art collection of ING, which was created in the 1991 merger of Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group, started at NMB, Birnie said. “It’s not an investment in the financial sense, but an investment in the emotional sense and also meant to give an impulse to the art world as it is today,” she said.
ING is selling 50 works of art every week via the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage on EBay Inc.’s Internet auction Web site. “I’ve seen the first results and they look positive,” Birnie said. “We’ll be able to transfer a nice amount” to ING Chances for Children, a social-development program that focuses on education for children and that the United Nations Children’s Fund, known as Unicef, helped set up.