British Airways Reveals Art To Be Sold To Raise Funds

British Airways has revealed a list of the art it is selling to raise funds. It was announced in early June that the airline would be raiding its collection with one piece worth over £1 million. The airline is currently in a period of consultation regarding saving as many jobs as possible, as it deals with the impact of the current pandemic.


British Airways, Art Sale, Sotheby's
A selection of art from British Airways is set to go under the hammer. Photo: British Airways

Following the worst crisis to ever hit the aviation industry, every airline is having to adapt to ensure its long-term viability. For some, this has entailed readjusting routes served, or their operational fleet. However, a large number have also been looking at possible job cuts.

Multiple pieces on sale

British Airways has raided its gallery for multiple pieces of art to sell. The headline piece is even expected to fetch up to £1.2 million ($1.5 million). To ensure that the process goes without a hitch, the airline has enlisted the help of Sotheby’s, a world-renowned auction house.

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Most pieces of art will be sold during an online auction running from July 20th to July 30th. However, the headline piece will be sold during an evening at Sotheby’s in London. The piece, entitled “Rembrandt to Richter”, was painted by Bridget Riley in 1982. The 142 by 120.6 cm oil on linen painting is expected to fetch between £800,000 – £1,200,000 under the hammer on July 28th.

British Airways, Art Sale, Sotheby's
The headline piece (pictured) is expected to fetch up to £1.2 million. Photo: Sotheby’s

However, if you wish to add a bit of British Airways art to your life, but can’t part with around £1 million, there are many slightly cheaper options. Artwork from artists such as Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Geroge Shaw, and Damien Hurst will be on sale for between £5,000 and £15,000 ($6,261 – $18,783). These are the pieces in the online auction.

Commenting on the sale, Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said,

“During this unprecedented time we have made the decision to work with Sotheby’s, one of the world’s leading and most trusted auction houses, to sell a number of pieces by artists including Bridget Riley and Damien Hirst. We look forward to them finding new homes with this sale.”

British Airways, Art Sale, Sotheby's
The airline is currently in a period of consultation over its future. Photo: British Airways

One of several measures

The sale of the artwork is just one of many measures being considered by the British flag carrier top to cope with the current crisis. The airline has continued to take delivery of new Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft while most of its fleet has been grounded. However, some pay cuts may be necessary as may job cuts. Simple Flying recently reported that British Airways told cabin crew that their pay wouldn’t be cut by more than 20% overall.

What do you make of the art sale? Would you look to purchase a piece of art once owned by British Airways? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!