Mark Fisher on deaccessioning

July 12 2011

The former Arts Minister has written a good piece on deaccessioning for the Art Newspaper. He concludes:

If we are to consider any variation in our present arrangements it is vital that we are clear about the criteria that would apply. Decisions should be made by directors and curators, on grounds of artistic quality. Proceeds should be ring-fenced. Tax incentives, such as proposed in the recent Goodison Report, should be introduced by the government. Museums and galleries should be encouraged to adopt far more open loans policies. The criteria in the Museums Associations code of ethics are slow (decisions can take two years), but not inflexible [...]

Such reforms would allow us to maintain the framework that has served us well in sustaining the integrity of our great collections, while enjoying some of the advantages of being more open, relaxed and flexible with regard to disposals and transfers. A British compromise, and a sensible one.

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