GOP leader says talks re: sale of Pollock painting’s are over

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A legislative leader in Iowa says talks about the sale of a Jackson Pollock painting valued at $140 million are over for this session because there is little chance of reaching consensus on the issue.

Republican House Appropriations Chairman Scott Raecker says with all the other issues lawmakers are trying to resolve this year continuing debate on the painting’s sale is not a good use of legislative time. He says the gap between both sides in the debate is too wide to reach consensus this year.

Raecker’s announcement Monday comes less than a week after a House appropriations subcommittee voted to sell the painting, which was donated to the University of Iowa in 1951 by art dealer Peggy Guggenheim.

The painting, titled Mural, serves as the centerpiece of the university’s art collection but some lawmakers were considering a proposal to sell it and use the proceeds to fund art scholarships.

University President Sally Mason has urged lawmakers to reject the proposed sale, saying scholarly works given to the university cannot be replaced and that the long-term loss to the state’s image and quality of life would be greater than the proceeds gained from the painting’s sale.

The American Association of Museum’s accreditation commission has also condemned the sale, saying the sale could threaten the University of Iowa Museum of Art’s accreditation.

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