News World London's Royal Opera House to sell Hockney painting to survive COVID crisis

London’s Royal Opera House to sell Hockney painting to survive COVID crisis

London’s Royal Opera House is to sell a 1970s painting by David Hockney as it seeks to raise cash to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst crisis in its history.

Hockney’s Portrait of David Webster will be put up for auction at Christie’s on Oct. 22. It is estimated to be worth between 11 and 18 million pounds ($14-$23 million), the auction house said.

“As we face the biggest crisis in our history, the sale of David Hockney’s wonderful portrait of Sir David Webster is a vital part of our strategy for recovery,” said Alex Beard, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, in a statement.

“The proceeds will be used to ensure that the world’s greatest artists can once more return to our stages.”

In common with other cultural venues across Britain and the world, the Royal Opera House was forced to shut in March as the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak gathered pace, and has been unable to generate revenue since.

Christie’s described the portrait by the octogenarian Hockney, considered one of the giants of British art in the 20th and 21st centuries, as “an extraordinary painting that perfectly captures the artist’s mastery of paint and flair for colour”.

“The staging of this painting feels almost theatrical, which is of course a fitting tribute,” said Katharine Arnold, the auction house’s co-head, Post-War and Contemporary Art Europe.

Webster, the painting’s subject, ran the Royal Opera House from 1945 to 1970. Arnold described him as a visionary leader who helped to make the institution world class.

Beard said the sale was part of the opera house’s four-pronged pandemic recovery plan, which included cost-cutting measures, fundraising from audiences, seeking government support, and realising value from assets.

He said the plan would allow the opera house to “sustain our community of artists through this period, and to ensure we can continue to delight audiences for decades to come with extraordinary ballet, dance, music and opera”.

(Reuters)

FILE PHOTO: British artist David Hockney speaks during presentation of his new book “A Bigger Book” during the book fair in Frankfurt, Germany October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Top Stories

Europe braces for lengthy battle with Covid, as winter looms

  Europe faces a lengthy battle against the coronavirus at least until mid-2021, France warned, as anxious governments introduced even more restrictions to curb the...

Turkey continues provocations with a series of Navtex

  Turkey continued raising the ante in the Eastern Mediterranean, by issuing a series of illegal maritime advisories for the region. The first two NAVTEX are...

Temperatures on the up, 35 today as dust remains

  A warm air current is still affecting the region, with thin dust persisting in the atmosphere and not clearing before Monday. Clear skies initially today...

160 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 160 new COVID-19 cases on 23 October, out of 4,327 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 3,314. The break-down of new...

Health Ministry insists there is confirmed case among American Center staff

The Health Ministry replied to the denial of the American Medical Center regarding a confirmed case among its staff. In an announcement the Ministry noted...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...