'Selling your top masterpiece is not an option' says RA CEO

March 24 2021

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Evening Standard have published an interesting interview with the chief executive of the RA, Axel Rüger. In this wide ranging interview Rüger speaks his mind on several points that are affecting the museum world at the moment.

On the prolonged wait for museums to reopen he has expressed:

It defies any logic — we provide a much more controlled environment than retail — you have to register, tickets are timed, numbers are tightly controlled, spaces are generally bigger and airier than most retail environments. Plus, commercial galleries are allowed to open and we are not. Before Christmas I walked through shops and thought how is this safer than the gallery?

He has also hit out against the calls last year for the RA to sell its prized Michelangelo marble:

Selling your top masterpiece is not an option. These works were entrusted to us to pass on undamaged to future generations. We have an obligation. They are not bargaining chips to sell on a rainy day. The Academy and other institutions have an obligation to organise their business model and income streams so that they can fulfil their core tasks and one of those is to protect and preserve the objects that we are trusted with. Selling a work is not a long-term solution.

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