HC Deb 19 April 1982 vol 22 cc17-8
20. Sir David Price

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will arrange for the responsibility for the buildings occupied by the National gallery to be vested in the trustees of the National gallery.

Mr. Channon

The ownership of the National gallery premises is vested in my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment on behalf of the Crown. I have had no representations from the trustees that this arrangement is unsatisfactory.

Sir David Price

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the intervention of the Property Services Agency, in respect of the internal/external fabric of the buildings of the National gallery, means divided responsibility on the part of the trustees? If the trustees are regarded as competent to look after the pictures, which are very much more valuable than the buildings, surely it would be right for them to look after the buildings as well?

Mr. Channon

I have had no representations from the trustees about the matter, but I shall willingly discuss the matter with them. The situation of the National gallery is exactly the same as that of every other gallery, except the British museum, where, under the British Museum Act, the trustees own the buildings.

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