Durham spent almost £170k on art last year

Imagine if they’d spent it on the Economics department

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A colossal £169,652 was spent by Durham University on art last year.

Students previously blasted the controversial university accommodation price rises.

Yet the current spending splurge is mere pocket change to what was spent on the Palatinate Centre’s art collection.

Worth it?

Worth it?

Give or take a few pennies, Durham spent the equivalent of 121,180 espressos at the library café Yum.

Excluding “museum contents and special collections” the insurance value of our art portfolio stands at an unsettling £11,683,515.

The bizarre “Geological Map Structure” outside the Bill Bryson Library is the most expensive piece of art Durham has, valued at a whopping £100,000.

Not a work of a modern master such as Picasso or Chagall, it is instead the work of a stonemason from Dorset.

The sculpture is actually entitled “What Lies Beneath Us” and was funded by the Banks Community Fund and Salamander Energy.

However the bulk of the artwork owned by the University is spread out across campus and not held solely on the Science Site.

"What Lies Beneath Us" is art and certainly not a pretentious waste of money

This is art and certainly not a pretentious waste of money

When the sculpture was installed, the university optimistically described the geological map as being a “teaching resource for Earth Science, Geography and History students.”

At such a high cost, while thousands of students shell out masses of hard-earned cash, it better be.