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Bank profits from art of living dangerously

By Margaret Canning

Published 21/10/2010

Many of us are forced to sell our prized possessions when our circumstances change, and the Bank of Ireland is no exception. Except it has an enviable collection of art to sell.

While formerly the bank had a large budget to support artists, it can no longer indulge.

Works are being previewed in Bangor, Co Down, over the next few weeks, and all proceeds will go to support various community arts organisations.

Sadly, artist Robert Ballagh, whose Woman with Barnett Newman is up for grabs, is not happy. In a strongly worded letter to the Irish Times, he says: "I urge all Irish artists to immediately close any accounts they may have with the bank in order to register their disapproval of the bank's action.

"How can Irish artists place their trust in an institution that displays no trust or confidence in Irish art?"

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