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Regents consider selling Pollock painting

Aug. 8, 2008 at 8:26 PM   |   Comments

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A University of Iowa regent's plan to sell a painting by Jackson Pollock has sparked an outcry among critics of the plan.

University Regent Michael Gartner says the painting could be sold to help pay for $16 million in damage to the school's arts campus sustained in June's flooding of the Iowa River, The Des Moines Register reported Friday.

In all, the university has an estimated $232 million in flood damage.

The painting -- " Mural" -- was acquired by the university about 60 years ago, when it was valued at $5,000.

The Iowa Board of Regents is considering just how much the 8-by-20-foot abstract painting would fetch.

In 2006, a Pollock painting, "Number 5, 1948," was sold by movie and music industry executive David Geffen to Mexican financier David Martinez for about $140 million.

Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge said there are other options besides selling artwork to pay for repairs.

"I think selling off our assets that we probably could never purchase again would not be something I would like to see happen," Judge said. "I would like to think we would rebuild that art center, that that painting along with the other great paintings will be hanging there for my grandkids to see, just like I did and just like my children did."

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