Students of some masterpieces of 19th and 20th century paintings may soon have to go to Dublin instead of London's National Gallery to study them - Renoir's 'Les Parapluies', Manet's 'La Musique aux Tuileries', works by Corot, Boudin, and the greatest of the Impressionists.
GV. Dublin Municipal Art Gallery.
CU. Sign, Municipal Art Gallery, over door.
LV.INT. Art Gallery.
LV. Lane room with bare walls.
LV. Guardian dusts wall.
PAN. Shot around roof of hall.
LV. Painting of Lane.
CU. Name of painting.
FULL CU.Portrait of Lane.
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Background: Students of some masterpieces of 19th and 20th century paintings may soon have to go to Dublin instead of London's National Gallery to study them - Renoir's 'Les Parapluies', Manet's 'La Musique aux Tuileries', works by Corot, Boudin, and the greatest of the Impressionists.
A large room in the Dublin Municipal Art Gallery is ready to receive them. Apart from a painting of Sir Hugh Lane - the Irishman who built up the collection of them - the room is empty. The paintings have been in England for 44 years of controversy. Worth today some millions of pounds - judging by recent London auction sales of similar works - the paintings were originally willed by Sir Hugh to the National Gallery. Sir Hugh went down in the 'Lusitania' in 1915 and in a codicil made out three months before he died, he revoked this bequest in witnessed, it was held to be invalid.
For years, the Irish and British Governments have argued over the disputed will. In 1956, Irish students felt the dispute had stayed too long at a diplomatic level, and temporarily stole one of the collection, exhibited at the Tate Gallery, in broad daylight. With the theft emblazoned in the National Press, the arguments erupted again - and the students, purpose achieved, returned the painting. It was Berthe Morisot's 'Jour d'Ete'.
Now comes the news of a solution to the dispute whereby some or all the pictures will be loaned to the Dublin Gallery. The Prime Ministers of both countries are making a statement about them this week.