Bloomberg stirs the pot on the simmering issue of art held by Irish banks. Scott Reyburn raises the previously reported issue that the Bank of Ireland will start selling its collection. But the money will not go to cover the bank’s gaping capital hole:
Proceeds from future sales will be added to the company’s existing community and charitable investment program, the Bank of Ireland said in an e-mailed statement. In recent years, a number of higher-value works, including paintings by Jack. B. Yeats, have been donated to the Irish Museum of Modern Art in lieu of corporation tax, Nolan said.
The most valuable works in the Bank of Ireland collection would currently be estimated at about 100,000 euros each, said James O’Halloran, managing director of the Dublin-based auctioneers James Adam & Sons Ltd., who last month was appointed sole adviser to the Bank of Ireland on the dispersal.
“We’re going to suggest auction to be the best way to sell most of the best pieces,” O’Halloran said in an interview. “There are a lot of lesser things that aren’t sellable and are better off left where they are.” […] Dealers are awaiting news on the artworks belonging to Allied Irish Banks and the nationalized Anglo Irish Bank.
“It’s well known that Allied has the best collection,” said O’Halloran. “It’s much broader in scope.” The bank’s art purchases in recent decades include works by contemporary Irish artists with international reputations such as Sean Scully and William Scott, as well as paintings by Yeats and tapestries by le Brocquy, dealers said.