British Airways, who plans to layoff 12,000 employees, will auction off some of its original art collection in a bid to raise desperately needed funds.
First reported by the Evening Standard, apparently the airline has around 1500 pieces of original art displayed in lounges and corporate offices worldwide. The collection includes works by several prominent artists including Peter Doig, Chris Ofili, Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin and Damient Hirst.
The highlight of the collection, however, is a pieced known as “Cool Edge” by the popular British artist Bridget Riley. The piece is predicted to fetch around $1.5 million at auction.
BA has secured the assistance of famed auctioneer Sotheby’s to assist in moving the pieces which will include roughly 17 pieces. The rest of the collection is likely to garner a couple hundred thousand dollars at the auction, with the clear centerpiece being the Riley piece.
The move is interesting and speaks to the deep financial trauma facing most air carriers worldwide. British Airways has been deeply impacted by the COVID crisis and plans to enact pay cuts and widespread layoffs in a bid to survive the crisis.