HC Deb 04 December 1950 vol 482 cc15-6W
102. Mr. Hollis

asked the Minister of Works whether in view of the great public interest in the Rubens ceiling for the Whitehall Banqueting Hall, he will extend the public exhibition of the panels of that ceiling at South Kensington for a further week after 16th December.

Mr. Stokes

As it is desired to have the ceiling restored to the Banqueting House in time for the Festival of Britain, a start had to be made on the replacement of the panels in the Banqueting House before the cleaning of the remainder was completed. It is only possible, therefore, to have nine of the panels on view and, as these are in sections, they are likely to be of more interest to the art expert than to the general public. If it is found, however, that the interest is more general than had been expected, I shall be quite prepared to extend the exhibition for a few days. I cannot extend it after Christmas as it will be necessary then to proceed with the re-erection of the panels in Banqueting House.