Friends of the Aigantighe Art Gallery are against a proposal to display some of its works at the Timaru District Council's headquarters, citing issues ranging from security to humidity.
The Council Community Development Committee will vote on Tuesday on the proposal.
In a letter to the committee, Friends of the Aigantighe president Neil McKinnon wrote that they would "publicly and vocally oppose any change in the present use of artworks that the Aigantighe has a responsibility for".
"The Friends of the Aigantighe are totally opposed to any of the works in the permanent collection, or new works to be purchased from rates or sources, or new works yet to be gifted or bequeathed, being loaned to a non-museum institution or gallery, including the Timaru District main council building."
Each year the council allocates $6200 to the Aigantighe from rates to buy art. The Friends raised concerns the humidity and temperature of the council building would be unsuitable for the artworks.
"We are also gravely concerned at the lack of appropriate security in public spaces and do not agree that works should be used in private office space. We understand that the works would not be covered by appropriate insurance when they were in the TDC building. "The fact that we already have a very good art gallery is precisely why the works are shown there and new acquisitions are exhibited for ratepayers to see," the letter said.
The director of Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Cam McCracken, also wrote to the council, at the request of Aigantighe director Dr Fiona Ciaran. He, too, did not support the art being displayed in the council building.
"Unless the highest standards can be met and guaranteed, insurers will not cover any loss, damage or deterioration that occurs as a result.
"If there is such loss, damage or deterioration to any work, and it is reported in the media as sometimes happens, the reputation of the TDC and the Aigantighe may be greatly tarnished."
On Tuesday the committee has four options to consider; to continue its current practice of accepting artworks as loans and gifts, to create a civic collection from separate funds, to display the artworks purchased from rates for Aigantighe for 12 months in the council building before transferring them to the art gallery or to display art from the gallery's permanent collection purchased from rates.
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