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Sale of Russborough paintings may be postponed after 'generous proposal' from Irish donors

An emergency meeting of the board will consider the new proposal as soon as possible.

THE BEIT FOUNDATION may postpone the sale of some of its art collection after receiving a generous proposal from some private Irish donors for the possible purchase of the paintings.

The Chairman of the Alfred Beit Foundation Judith Woodworth will recommend to the board that the sale of artworks at Russborough House be postponed until July.

File Photo: Several paintings from the Beit Collection at Russborough House are to be sold in London. It is reported that some of those to be sold, include paintings recovered after they were stolen in major art robberies. End. Source: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland!

The artworks are currently in the upcoming Christie’s sale. However, in a statement released this evening Woodworth said:

I have taken the decision to propose to the ABF board that the sale is postponed, that the Foundation enters into negotiations with Christies to arrange that and remove the artworks from the July sale.

It’s understood that an emergency meeting of the board of the foundation will consider the new proposal as soon as possible.

The sale of the paintings has been met with huge opposition with thousands of people signing a petition to halt the sale.

The Foundation says it was necessary to secure long term funding to pay for the upkeep of the historic Russborough house.

File Photo: Several paintings from the Beit Collection at Russborough House are to be sold in London. It is reported that some of those to be sold, include paintings recovered after they were stolen in major art robberies. End.

The Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys has welcomed the news this evening, saying:

The postponement of the sale allows the necessary breathing space to explore how this mechanism can assist in this case.

However the Statement by Judith Woodworth did warn that, “The reality for the Foundation is that if the current proposal or other proposals do not reach a satisfactory conclusion by October 2015 and Russborough is unable to raise the required funds, the Foundation may have no option but to resume the proposed sales so as to avoid a financial crisis at Russborough.”

Read: ‘Christie’s, the stinkers’: Auction house will ‘disgrace themselves’ if it charges penalty fee for Russborough paintings>

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