September 18th, 2012 |
The County Council’s Hidden Treasures
From the Brentwood Gazette … on the hidden treasures belonging to the County Council :
THE news that Essex County Council holds more than £14 million worth of so-called heritage assets, including several expensive paintings, will no doubt come as a surprise to many readers. After all, the job of the county council is to fix potholes (or “road defects” as it prefers to rail them) and organise education among other things.
One portrait alone is valued at £2.5 million – so, where, I hear you ask, can you view this masterpiece? Unfortunately, we can’t tell you. And the reason for this?
Because the council won’t tell us. The authority, which often boasts about its own transparency, would not even give us a reason why it wouldn’t tell us.
All it would say is that residents can make an appointment to view any painting that isn’t on display to the public and we would like to encourage readers to take up this offer.
So the next time you’re in Chelmsford, why not pop into County Hall and ask the receptionist to make an appointment to see the portrait of Dutch peasants seated drinking or the painting of travellers on horses resting by a house. You can be sure she’ll know exactly what you’re talking about…
Some background here.