Venice may sell Klimt to pay off debt

Venice may sell Klimt to pay city's debts

Judith II (Salome) Gustav Klimt , 1909,

On 9 October 2015, the Mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, suggested selling artworks owned by Venetian museums to pay the city’s debts. He aims to raise €400 million.

Possible paintings to be sold include Judith II (Salome) by Gustav Klimt which is currently in the Museum of Modern Art in Venice and as well as a Chagall painting having been mentioned. A city spokesperson defended the decision, in an interview with Italian daily financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore,“These works and these artists bear no relation with Venice’s cultural history.” Italian politician and art critic Vittorio Sgarbi in an article published by Huffington Post also agreed with this solution. “No one goes to Venice to see Klimt”, he explained.

At the moment, this is still an idea of the Mayor and he will look for other solutions before having to sell paintings. Venice is an expensive city to maintain which he regularly points out. The decision of which paintings to sell will have to be discussed in Rome, as legislation governing the sale of paintings in public collections is particularly strict. However all of this could be that the Mayor is making a threat in the hope of waking the Italian government up to his city’s financial situation.