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Bridget Riley — Cool Edge, 1982
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Bridget Riley: Can Art Save an Airline?

06.07.20

British Airways has turned to Sotheby’s for a helping hand, auctioning off works by Bridget Riley and other modern marvels. The airline’s impressive collection is normally housed between executive offices and international lounges, but many will be looking for a new home as they’re sold off to compensate for stumbling revenue this year.

2020 hasn’t been kind to the travel industry and not all operators will have collateral to bolster the bank. While the auction is set to include Blue Chip artists like Damien Hirst, the Riley work is expected to carry the sales, with the Evening Standard stating one of her pieces, Cool Edge, painted in 1982, carries an estimate of £800,000 – £1,200,000.

While neither BA nor Sotheby’s have commented on the auction, here’s hoping the profits mean modifications to their expected changes in staff, as the airline has reported it plans to fire 42,000 employees and rehire 30,000 under less enticing contracts. With flights opening up and collectors opening their wallet, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the workers on the ground and in the air.