Lehman art to raise £2m at auction

ARTWORKS that once adorned the British and European offices of former banking powerhouse Lehman Brothers are to be auctioned off next month, according to the bank’s administrators.

Works by the likes of Lucian Freud and Gary Hume and the sign that hung outside the bank’s office in Canary Wharf will be among the pieces up for sale, said PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is in charge of the collapsed bank’s main European operations.

The auction is expected to raise about £2m to help pay back creditors.

PwC partner Barry Gilbertson said the 29 September auction date was chosen to coincide with the second anniversary of the collapse.

He said: “We think that there are many people around the world who would like to acquire some art with a Lehman connection.”

The diverse selection of items includes post-war and contemporary pieces, maritime pictures and sporting works of art.

The bank filed for bankruptcy in September 2008 with debts of $613bn (£384bn), making it the largest bankruptcy filing in US history. Lehman’s collapse deepened a global economic crisis and paralysed markets.