Call for return of Degas art

A Berwick councillor has made a fresh appeal for a painting to be returned to the town.

Saturday, 5th March 2016, 7:01 am
Updated Saturday, 5th March 2016, 9:06 am
Edgar Degas, Russian Dancers, charcoal and pastel on paper.

The Degas painting, Russian Dancers, part of the renowned Burrell Collection, is currently in storage at the Woodhorn Museum in Ashington.

But Councillor Karin Graham said: “The summer’s coming and that painting should be in Berwick. It will boost tourism and deliver business to our bed and breakkfasts and hotels. It was gifted to Berwick and taken away from here. It’s ours.”

Berwick Town Council had requested a valuation of the painting for insurance purposes several months ago but has not received an answer.

The pastel and charcoal sketch, Russian Dancers, attracted 3,000 visitors when it formed part of an exhibition at the Granary Gallery in Berwick last year.

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The Woodhorn Trust, which is looking after it, has already provided assurances the picture will return to Berwick at some point.

It points out that all artworks, particularly those which are easily damaged, benefit from time in a stable environment in storage. The store at Woodhorn is more suitable than the store at Berwick but it hopes museum facilities in the town could be improved in the future.