Through Art Market & You, Art From Us provides you Analysis, Opinion and Factual Reports regarding the current on-goings of the Global Art Market. In this article, we explore the British Airways Art Collection.
Our Director Divvya Nirula presents reports from the international art market with the view to assist our collectors, investors, and all lovers of art.
Coronavirus-induced shutdown have silenced several industries. Airlines being one of the worst hit. The aviation sector was doing badly before the pandemic. Consequently, with minimum domestic and intenational travel, things are much worse. Even here in India. Carriers including SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air India are facing major financial problems.
British Airways Art Collection
Owing to the pandemic-situation British Airways is liquidating a part of its art collection. This will be done with a view to reduce losses. The BA collection holds over 1,500 works. Several of these are by British art powerhouses including Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Bridget Riley. The impressive collection is housed across several location. Including the BA headquarters and their lounge at Heathrow airport.
Recently, the airline called upon Sotheby’s to appraise around 10 works in their collection. The potential sale of these 10 works would be to minimise pay-cuts and layoffs. With the current scenario, job losses seem inevitable. Overhead costs in the airline industry are high. Further, with planes idling away in the hangar, revenues are at minimum, if not zero.
Leveraging Art to Cut Losses
It is not uncommon for a business to sell of their assets – especially art – to reduce losses. However, given the situation, this could turn in to a problem for the art market. BA seems to be the first company to consider selling their art. But, if more companies join the bandwagon, market prices are expected to fluctuate drastically. Finally, what remains to be seen is who will be willing to buy in this time, and at what price.
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