RTÉ are putting four paintings up for auction at Sotheby’s in London today as the national broadcaster seeks to raise funds.
Two of the artworks are Táin and The Massing of the Armies by Louis Le Brocquy which were commissioned by RTÉ in 1966 and 2000.
The other artworks going under the hammer are Abstract Painting by William Scott and Inscape Mozaga by Tony O’Malley.
Sotheby’s price guide estimates that Le Brocquy’s Táin will fetch between €82,000-€117,000, while his larger The Massing of the Armies work has an estimate selling price of between €140,600 and €211,000.
William Scott’s Abstract Painting is estimated to sell for €175,000-€293,000, while the guide price for O’Malley’s Inscape Mozaga ranges from €17,500 to €29,300.
Another painting, George Campbell’s Symphony Orchestra, was also listed with an estimated price of between €26,950 and €41,000, however the lot has been withdrawn.
If all of the paintings, including Symphony Orchestra, sell for the higher price they would raise €691,300, however RTÉ would have to pay Sotheby’s commission on the sales.
RTÉ’s takings from the sales will be further reduced because it has to split the proceeds from Táin and Abstract Painting with the Arts Council because it helped fund the original purchases.
RTÉ’s financial situation has been under considerable pressure in recent years, recording losses of €20 million in 2016 and €13 million in 2018.