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Niall Carson

RTÉ putting five paintings up for auction in a bid to boost funds

The broadcaster has been making a loss for several years.

RTÉ HAS CONFIRMED it is putting a number of paintings up for auction next month in a bid to increase its revenue. 

The broadcaster has been in the red zone when it comes to finances in recent years, with Director General Dee Forbes calling for changes to the TV licence structure to offset the broadcaster’s losses. 

The Irish Daily Star reported today that five paintings, thought to be worth more than €1 million, are to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s next month. 

RTÉ confirmed to that the works will go up for sale next month at two separate auctions in Sotheby’s London and “all proceeds from the sale of these artworks will be reinvested in the organisations”. 

Two of the artworks by Louis Le Brocquy – Táin and The Massing of the Armies – were commissioned by RTÉ in 1966 and 2000 respectively. 

The other artworks included in the November art sales are from William Scott (Abstract Painting), Tony O’Malley (Inscape ‘Mozaga’) and George Campbell (Symphony Orchestra). 

In 2016 RTÉ made a loss of almost €20 million citing “onerous” coverage of events like the general election, the olympics and the 1916 Rising centenary as the reason. The previous year it made a loss of €3 million. 

A site at RTÉ’s Donnybrook HQ was sold in 2017 for more than €100 million, the same year it made a loss of over €6 million. 

Last year, the broadcaster recorded a loss of €13 million pointing to the Papal visit, the presidential election, and coverage of the FIFA world cup as the reasons. 

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