Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions (111)

Seán Fleming


111. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will set out, in tabular form, the amount spent on purchase of arts works by the art management group in each of the past ten years; the current value of the State's art portfolio; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29548/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Data is provided in the following table for Per Cent for Art Expenditure 2003-2012. Artworks commissioned and purchased by the OPW from 2003 to end 2012 were funded in the main through the Government's Per Cent for Art Scheme. 98% of the State Art Collection is on display in State buildings throughout Ireland.

The OPW manages the State Art Collection which is an unique entity that has been formed over considerable years for display in a wide variety of locations nationwide. The overall financial value of the Collection cannot be easily estimated because of its diverse nature. It contains artworks that are of national and historic significance and contemporary works by emerging artists in the early stages of their careers. In line with other national collections (such as that of the National Gallery of Ireland) a financial valuation has not been placed on the Collection as a whole. Financial valuations are only undertaken on individual artworks when there is a need for commercial insurance for exhibition by other organisations.

Many of the contemporary art works purchased and commissioned in recent years under the Per Cent for Art scheme are of relatively low financial value in terms of the international art market. In recent times, works have been acquired from artists living and working in Ireland who are in the early to mid stages of their careers. All of the large-scale contemporary art works in the Collection were commissioned under the Government's Per Cent for Art Scheme and as these large-scale works are site specific, their commercial value is difficult to ascertain in the current art market.

Many of the works in the Collection form an unique part of Irish history such as the portrait series of former Presidents on display in Áras an Uachtaráin or they are works which are part of the historic fabric of a building, such as the 17th century portrait series in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Works by graduates are of relatively low financial value but they are of huge value in educating and enriching the experience of visiting a public building. Many of these works will be considered important works in the future and it is with this considered long term view that OPW continues to support the work of artists through the Government's Per Cent for Art Scheme.

Per Cent for Art


Per Cent for Art Expenditure Commissioned projects and art works purchased