Folks in Australia are a little peeved to find out that a government program deaccessioned art works without much oversight. But the story offers no evidence the works were national treasures or on public view:
For almost a year National Art School director Michael Snelling has been the only member of Artbank’s board and yet at two recent art auctions the government company raised $1.6 million with the biggest sale of its 34-year history. Two blue-chip Jeffrey Smart paintings were sold, as were paintings by John Coburn, Margaret Olley, John Brack and William Robinson. […] Artbank is a division of the Arts Ministry set up by the Fraser government in 1980, and raises its own funds by renting art to government, businesses and private individuals.
Its finances are not made public but Artbank director Tony Stephens said the $1.6m raised would be spent buying new artworks by living Australian artists, as per Artbank’s remit.
Million-dollar art sale under scrutiny (The Australian)