Moneyrais­ing schemes are ‘tawdry’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FEATURES -

Jim Bruce, Ed­in­more Drive, Daviot, In­verurie, Aberdeen­shire SIR, – I am re­lieved to see that Aberdeen Art Gallery, pic­tured above, is now back on track af­ter a pe­riod of be­ing parked in the sid­ings.

The gallery will ap­par­ently re­open in early 2019 af­ter the in­te­rior work has been com­pleted and the col­lec­tions have been re­in­stalled. That’s not too bad, only slightly over a year late. Un­for­tu­nately the funds to pay for the works have fallen short by £7mil­lion. Ei­ther the gen­eros­ity of Aber­do­nians has been stretched to the limit or their en­thu­si­asm for this project failed to get off the ground. Ei­ther way, all is not lost, coun­cil of­fi­cials are sell­ing raf­fle tick­ets at £2 each to close the fund­ing gap. No men­tion of what the first prize is though. Per­haps din­ner with the lead­ers of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, with the sec­ond prize be­ing two din­ners?

In ad­di­tion, sub­scribers can for £150 have their name or that of a loved one in­scribed on one of 200 chairs in the Cow­dray Hall. The Cow­dray Hall, our war me­mo­rial, was given to the city by Lord and Lady Cow­dray and built in 1925. In my opin­ion, to as­so­ciate such tawdry moneyrais­ing schemes with this mag­nif­i­cent build­ing is de­mean­ing and also dis­hon­ours those it com­mem­o­rates. If the coun­cil can­not af­ford to pay for 200 measly chairs it should not have em­barked on the pro­gramme.

Lastly we have long be­come used to the hy­per­bole em­ployed by Coun­cil­lor Boul­ton. How­ever on this oc­ca­sion she ap­pears to have gone into over­drive with the use of such words and phrases as “ex­hi­bi­tions that we have never dreamed of be­fore”, “huge draw for tourists”, “peo­ple will ac­tu­ally be amazed”. This has all the hall­marks of des­per­a­tion. How­ever, I did like Coun­cil­lor Alex Ni­col’s re­mark that he is look­ing for­ward to the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s civic busk­ing team per­form­ing to raise funds. May I sug­gest a stance out­side the Muse de­vel­op­ment?

Ge­orge S Mor­ri­son, Over­ton Cir­cle, Dyce, Aberdeen

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