Small boy's bank helps Tate keep Turner

LONDON, March 1 (UPI) -- The largest public appeal ever in Britain to keep a painting in the country ended successfully with the help of an 8-year-old boy and his piggy bank.

Matthew Hughes' $18 contribution helped Tate Britain raise $9.7 million to buy JMW Turner's the "Blue Rigi," a Swiss mountain view painted in 1843, The Telegraph said.


The "Blue Rigi" became the world's most expensive watercolor when it sold for $11.4 million at auction in 2006. Now it's the most expensive painting the Tate has purchased.

The Tate had contributions from the National Heritage Memorial fund, the gallery's endowment fund and the non-profit Art Fund. It asked the public for help raising the final $587,000 by the March 20 deadline, when the painting would be exported.

The public responded by raising nearly $1.1 million.

Hughes, of Coddington -- who receives about $6 a week for spending money -- said he was saving for PlayStation games before becoming a Turner saver.

"My headmaster sent a letter out to parents saying to look on the Web site to save a great painting," he said. "I looked and I thought it was really good."


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