Works of Art (2018)

Request

Please could I be supplied with a list of all works of art in the collection classified as ‘missing’ by the House authorities.

Could I also be told whether the artworks are regarded as lost or stolen.

 

Response

Some information is held by the House of Commons. The Parliamentary Art Collection has 224 works of art recorded on the collection database as 'missing'.

However, an indication of whether these pieces are considered either lost or stolen is not held by the House.

The tag of ‘missing’ is one that was used in the 1980s on a less reliable database to identify ‘problem’ inventory records, including duplicate records. It does not necessarily mean that these works from the Collection have been lost or stolen. We now use a Museum standard database and have succeeded in resolving many of the inherited anomalies, however identifying them is a labour-intensive process. The Restoration and Renewal programme is an important opportunity for the Parliamentary Art Collection to be reviewed in detail so that historic cataloguing errors can be resolved and good documentation practice going forward can be ensured.