BA has something of an art collection dotted around the walls of its offices and the posher international lounges where first class travellers can be trusted not to draw moustaches on them, as it’s revealed a plan to sell some of its most valuable paintings in order to prop up the rest of its business.
The airline’s art collection contains work by predominantly modern British artists, including one by enfant terrible (French for manchild, we hope) Damien Hirst, along with works by Bridget Riley and Peter Doig, who may not be as famous but do have Wikipedia pages at least. With some pieces allegedly valued in the millions it should help fund BA’s vastly reduced wage bill for a little while, and auction specialist Sotheby’s is on the team to help manage sales.
Bridget Riley may indeed be the short-term saviour of BA, as one of her works – hung within a Heathrow executive lounge somewhere – is said to be valued well into seven figures. The Evening Standard has obtained a quote from a grim BA employee, who said: “When the ship is going down we can’t hold on to all these things.” [Standard]