British Airways has confirmed that it is poised to auction off 17 pieces of artwork from its corporate collection on 28 July, in a bid to raise much-needed cash.
First to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s “Rembrandt to Richter” event will be Bridget Riley’s “Cool Edge” (pictured below). Demoted from pride of place at Heathrow’s exclusive T5 Concorde Room, the abstract artwork is expected to net the company a cool £1 million.
The other 16 works on offer include those from “fittingly British” artists including Damien Hirst, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron and George Shaw. At the high end of preliminary auction estimates provided by Sotheby’s, the works are expected to fetch a combined £160,000.
Forbes says that the airline’s corporate art collection is made up of 1,500 works, and it seems that BA may look to continue to chip away at it in the near future.
Sotheby’s website indicates that the online auction of Modern & Post War British Art, which will run between July 20 and 30, will include another seven screen prints by Riley taken from The British Airways Collection.
The news has struck a far less controversial tone than some of the company’s other recent cost-cutting plans – with BA coming under fire from MPs and unions over plans to lay off nearly a third of its in-country workforce.