Historical, cultural value of UCT's destroyed paintings 'immeasurable'

2016-02-29 18:36
(File, 24.com)

(File, 24.com)

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Cape Town – The works of art destroyed by protesting students at the University of Cape Town had an insured valued of R682 500, the institution confirmed on Monday.

But their historical and cultural value was immeasurable, said UCT spokesperson Thami Nkwanyane.

"Twenty-four works of art were destroyed, including 16 portraits and one wooden plaque. There were [also] two photo-collages about Molly Blackburn – not created by her," Nkwanyane confirmed.

The works were created by artists Bernard Hailstone, Neville Lewis, Edward Roworth, John Wheatley, Richard Keresemose Baholo, Kirsten Lilford, Nina Romm, James Eddie, Carli Hare, Harriet Fuller Knight, Roeleen Ryall, Rupert Shepard, Robert Broadley and Stanley Eppel.

The artworks were destroyed when a group of protesters created a bonfire with the paintings they took from the Fuller and Smuts residences at UCT’s upper campus on February 16.

'Vulnerable' artworks moved

This was during protests stemming from the university’s alleged lack of accommodation in residences for students from poorer backgrounds. The university later claimed over 75% of its accommodation was allocated to needy students.

The protesters built a bonfire next to a shack that had been erected in Residence Road by #RhodesMustFall supporters.

Nkwanyane said the university had identified works it considered "vulnerable", and had moved them to a safe place.

"[These] works are what may be considered to be targets of protesters," he explained.

"There’s also civic vulnerability, where works of art are easy to access by virtue of where they are placed. We have put such works temporarily in a… venue while considering the disposition of the collection."

The university had also arranged for extra security on campus, Nkwanyane added.

Read more on:    uct  |  cape town  |  university protests
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