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Britain Accepts Duveen Offer to Improve Art Store

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“The Government decides to take this opportunity of expressing its thanks to Sir Joseph Duveen for his generous offer of funds for the improvement of the nation’s artistic collections,” Mr. Churchill, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in the House of Commons in answer to a question put by Sir Martin Conway, the representative of the English Universities.

“Subject to further consideration when detailed plans and estimates are available,” the Chancellor said, “the Government has decided to undertake the services which on a review of the needs of the Museums and Galleries, the Royal Commission have classed as of immediate urgency and provision is being made accordingly in the 1929 estimates.”

Sir Joseph Duveen offered to bear the expense of such an immediate extension of existing galleries as is needed for the adequate display of our national art treasures. It is estimated that the gifts are of the value of something approaching half-a-million pounds. The extensions which his offer contemplates include a gallery for foreign sculpture at the Tate Gallery, an addition to the National Portrait Gallery, and a dignified and artistic setting for the Elgin Marbles and Nereid Statues.

It is welcome news, says the “Times” in an editorial, that the Government has accepted the provison contained in Sir Joseph Duveen’s magnificent offer, and will carry out on the scientific and literary side the specific recommendations of the Royal Commission on National Museums and Galleries for which he has drawn up a generous program on the artistic side. To say that Government acceptance of such generous terms was almost a foregone conclusion does not destroy the interest and significance of the procedure.

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