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Six National Gallery paintings still missing

Published:Saturday | April 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

FIVE OF 11 pieces of expensive artwork loaned to a number of government agencies by the National Gallery more than three years ago are still missing.

Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Olivia Grange told Parliament's Standing Finance Committee on Thursday that the ministry had recovered six of the paintings which could not be accounted for last year.

The missing paintings came to public attention in October 2009 when Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis told Parliament's Public Accounts Committee that controls over the movement of artwork at the National Gallery were inadequate.

Monroe Ellis said then that several paintings owned by the gallery that were loaned to government agencies could not be located.

"I think it was a misrepresentation when it was said 'missing art'. What the National Gallery was doing is an audit of all the art that has been out on loan," said Grange.

Continuing, she pointed out, "What was reported in the paper gave the impression that 11 pieces were missing. At this point we can't say they are missing."