Well well a petition in favour of the sale of Riesco items! Some people have been fooled into thinking that the only way to fund Fairfield Halls refurbishment is to sell off Riesco items. Off course developers, especially Chinese investors in London, could do so, and ensure the Collection is not further depleted.
Last Sunday Croydon Radio ran a series of interviews on the proposed sale. You can hear the podcast at www.bit.ly/Intheloop19a. Tory Councillor Tim Pollard part justified sale on the grounds that items had been sold on previous occasions. Sorry - but the fact that was wrong then is no justification for being wrong again now. There is a lively debate on Croydon Citizen: http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics/for-and-against-the-riesco-sell-off.
Developers Could Fund Fairfield Halls
There is plenty of Chinese money pouring into London. The latest is the proposed sixty storey towers proposed for Nine Elms, in a £700m deal signed in China by Dalian Wanda Group.These will be higher than Prescott’s Folly, officially known as St. George Tower at Vauxhall. The former Labour Secretary of State's decision against the views of Lambeth Council, local campaigners and the planning inspector, gave the developers in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area the go ahead to push their proposed towers higher and higher. UNESCO is now seriously concerned about the heritage impact on London’s skyline which could lose it official World Heritage status.
Perhaps its time Croydon Tories asked Chinese developer and investment vehicles operating in London to make a tax-free charitable donation to cover the costs of refurbishing Fairfield Halls allowing it to drop the proposed sale of items from the Riesco Collection.
Perhaps their favourite developer’s parent company which also operates in the Far East might like to chip in as well. J Laing is owned by Henderson Group - see the next blog.
They could always ask the Westfield /Hammerson partnership on the redevelopment of Whitgift Centre to help fund not only the refurbishment but also a pedestrian friendly linkage to Queen’s Gardens.
Mind you whether that partnership will survive remains to be seen now that Hammerson have announced they are going to go head to head with Westfield north of the river by canopying over Brent Cross shop centre.
A big thanks to yesterday's Evening Standard for covering the Nine Elms, UNESCO and Brent Cross stories.
Other Riesco news:
· My radical history perspective on why the Collection should be retained as a whole can be seen in the previous blog.
· The Museums Association says the proposed sale is unethical - http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10485227.Council_s_Ming_china_sell_off__unethical___says_Museums_Association.
· I was interviewed by the Chinese UK Times on Wednesday 19 July. This publication is in Chinese.