Anglo Irish Bank flogs off art collection

Michael Bow
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THE LIQUIDATION of failed former Anglo Irish Bank kicks off today – with the sale of its contemporary Irish art collection.

The auction, at Dublin’s 125-year old auctioneer Adam’s, will raise money to pay back taxpayers who helped prop up the bank.

The sale represents the first step in the liquidation of the bank, which collapsed under a mountain of debt in 2009 and had to be nationalised by the Irish government. It was formally liquidated in February after a historic agreement signed by the Irish parliament. Lots range from a small oil painting, expected to fetch about €20 (£17), to a 1996 signed oil painting by Stephen McKenna which has a expected price tag of up to €12,000.

Liquidator KPMG is expected to follow the art auction with a sale of the bank’s property and loan book.

The sale of artworks – which adorn the walls of boardrooms and client areas – has been a hallmark of recent bank liquidations. Lehman Brothers’ collection of artwork sold for £1.6m in 2010 at Christie’s.