The sale of the Churchill Downing Street portrait to an overseas anonymous buyer for £150,000 (Referred to in The Times Newspaper articles reproduced below) is disturbing.
Is it not sad that neither Churchill's relatives nor other wealthy people in the United Kingdom sought to secure the future of this splendid likeness permanently in England?
One of the few portraits of Churchill painted during the war sold for £150,000 at Sotheby's in London yesterday. The amount was double the estimate.
The picture, known as Blood, Sweat and Tears after Churchill's famous speech at the time of Dunkirk, had hung in 10 Downing Street since Margaret Thatcher was elected in 1979. It was her favourite portrait of him.
The portrait, dated 1943, was sold on behalf of the St. Stephen's Constitutional Club, which commissioned it from Frank O. Salisbury (1874-1962.) He studied the wartime leader in the House of Lords, where MPs sat after their chamber was destroyed in an air raid in May 1941.
It went to a private buyer from abroad. The club, whose membership includes a number of MPs, will use the money to refurbish its premises in Westminster. David Bright, the chairman, said that the was sad to be losing one of its most treasured possessions.
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