London: The Royal Opera House sells "Hockney" to bypass the Corona crisis

"Royal Opera House" in London, yesterday, Thursday, sold a painting by British painter David Hockney for 12.8 million pounds (14.2 million euros) at a public auction organized by Dar Sotheby's Auctions, as the Royal Opera House seeks to counter the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Al-Lujah represents the director of "Royal Opera House" between 1945 and 1970, Sir David Webster, and it is estimated that it will sell between 11 and 18 million pounds (between 12 and 20 million euros).

The Opera House announced in early October that it would have to sell this painting, which dates back to the year 1971, to be able to overcome the economic difficulties caused by the pandemic.

The house's current director Alex Baird said in a statement that selling the painting "is a vital aspect" of its recovery plan as it faces the "greatest crisis" in its history.

In general, British cultural institutions suffered significant financial losses as a result of the closure during the quarantine phase associated with the pandemic that led to the death of more than 44,000 people in Britain, which is the largest number of deaths from the emerging corona virus in Europe.

Royal Opera House was no exception to this rule, as its income has declined by more than half since the beginning of the health crisis, although it reopened its doors last June and presented shows without an audience that only broadcast them over the Internet.

In addition to selling this painting, the famous London house intends to organize a fundraising campaign, reduce its costs, and dispense with the services of a number of its employees. It is also counting on government support that contributes to its recovery.

The British government announced in early July that it would support the cultural sector with 1.57 billion pounds (1.74 billion euros). The announcement was well received, but the value of the subsidy was considered insufficient.

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