The Tate has applied to the Charity Commissioners for permission to spend the huge windfall which accrued over the insurance pay-out on its two stolen Turner paintings. “Shade and darkness” and “Light and colour” were stolen in Frankfurt in 1994 and the Tate then received £24 million in insurance money. The Turners were later recovered separately in 2000 and 2002, but shortly before the first recovery, the Tate had bought back title to the paintings from the insurers for £8 million. After deducting costs and money spent on a new storage facility, and after adding interest, the remaining “windfall” now stands at just over £15 million. Although the Tate is not yet disclosing how it wants to spend the money, the most likely scheme will be the creation of an endowment, which would yield an annual sum for spending. Director Sir Nicholas Serota would like the money to be available for a variety of purposes, including scholarship and care of the collection, as well as acquisitions. The scheme is expected to be published shortly by the Charity Commissioners, which will then solicit views before reaching its decision.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Tate asks permission to spend £15 million'