Friday, 1 August 2014

Northampton Museum loses Accreditation due to Sekhemka sale

The members of the Save Sekhemka Action Group are deeply saddened to learn of the Northampton Museums’ Loss of Accreditation.  During our 2 year campaign to halt the sale of the Egyptian funerary statue, Sekhemka, we have time and again warned that the unethical sale would result in loss of this status. 
We regret this because it will mean the certain decline of both the Central and Abington Museum since the loss of this status stops the Museum Service being eligible for outside grants from the Lottery, Arts Council England and other art/cultural grant giving bodies. 
This monetary loss is likely to be greater than the £8m gross NBC received for the statue. 
It also means that NBC is now free to sell whatever else does not fit in with Councillor David Mackintosh’s vision of the town’s museums and collections. 
Nothing in the collections will be safe unless it is shoe related: many of the 92 art items and artefacts donated by the Friends of Northampton Museums & Art Gallery will be sold, likewise many artworks bought with funds from the Art Fund, the V&A and other bodies provided the grants are re-paid.  Nothing is safe. 
The Action Group hopes that this removal of Accreditation will serve as a warning to other museums and Local Authorities: do NOT sell items from public collections – it is unethical and unprofessional and will ultimately mean that the great cultural assets the UK has in its various provincial museums will be a vague and distant memory in the near future.
This is indeed a BLACK and SHAMEFUL day for Northampton’s Culture and Heritage.