Source : British Museum could send loans worth £1bn to the Gulf
by Martin Bailey, 15 July 2015

The Banquet Scene

 

‘The Banquet Scene’ ; gypsum wall panel relief fragment, 645BC-635BC
© The Trustees of the British Museum

 

Islamic State destroyed 50 complete panels at Nimrud in northern Iraq in April, which has made the remaining reliefs in museums, including the Louvre [Paris] and Metropolitan Museum of Art [New York], even more important. Although the £100m valuation may seem high for the British Museum’s Banquet Scene, Sotheby’s sold the Guennol Lioness (3000–2800BC) for $57m in 2007. The limestone figure of a lioness, believed to have been discovered near Baghdad, measures just 8cm in height.

[…]

The British Museum will receive a fee for the loans [to Abu Dhabi museum], and although the fee has not yet been finalised, it will certainly be millions of pounds a year. This will help the British Museum financially, which has been facing substantial cuts to its UK government funding. In real terms (after inflation) this represents a 30% reduction in grant-in-aid from 2010 to 2016.

 

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