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SWINDON, ENGLAND, January 15, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The National Trust, the Art Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) are delighted to announce that Pieter Brueghel the Younger's 'The Procession to Calvary' has been saved for the nation after an intensive three month fundraising campaign.
The GBP2.72 million total was announced with the news of the NHMF grant of GBP1,034,000. Along with the Art Fund's GBP500,000 grant that kick started the appeal, over GBP680,000 from members of the public - many of whom were Art Fund and National Trust members - and nearly GBP510,000 from trusts and foundations, 'The Procession to Calvary' can now be kept on public display at Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire.
In September, the Art Fund and the National Trust launched a joint fundraising appeal to save 'The Procession to Calvary'. The painting is the star attraction at Nostell Priory, owned by the National Trust since 1954, where it has hung for over 200 years. The painting was put up for sale by its owner, Lord St Oswald, with the risk of being lost from public view.
Completed in 1602, and amongst Brueghel the Younger's finest works, 'The Procession to Calvary' shows Christ carrying the cross on the way to his crucifixion. He is surrounded by over two hundred figures in a vibrant narrative, set in a contemporary Flemish landscape.
Dr Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: "We have been bowled over by the support and enthusiasm of the public for this quite extraordinary painting, helping us to reach the GBP2.7 million target. Considering the economic climate, this has been a hugely challenging campaign and we are enormously grateful to all our members and supporters who have given so generously."
Dame Fiona Reynolds, director-general of the National Trust, commented: "This is wonderful news and a marvellous start to the new year with the knowledge that Nostell Priory's star attraction will stay where it belongs and continue to be enjoyed by visitors. We want to thank everyone who has supported this campaign to save 'The Procession to Calvary', especially the National Heritage Memorial Fund for enabling us to reach our target. And our special thanks go to the Art Fund for their generous donation that kick-started the campaign and who have worked tirelessly with us throughout the last three months to secure the future of this wonderful painting."
Dame Jenny Abramsky, chair of the NHMF, added: "The overwhelming public support to help secure this stunning painting has been an inspiration. Individual donations combined with on-going support from government funds such as the National Heritage Memorial Fund, will play an increasingly important role in securing our most precious heritage."
The Art Fund and the National Trust would like to thank the National Gallery and York Art Gallery for their support throughout the campaign in enabling the public to view the work in their spaces.
The painting will return to Nostell Priory and be on display from the end of February 2011, when the house opens once again to the public.
About the National Trust:
The National Trust cares for 300 inspiring historic houses and gardens across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. From former workers' cottages to the most iconic stately homes, and from mines and mills to theatres and inns, the stories of people and their heritage are at the heart of everything it does. People of all ages, individuals, schools and communities, get involved each year with its projects, events and working holidays and 61,000 volunteers help to bring the properties alive for the millions of people who visit our places each year.
The National Trust offers a number of activities such as cycle paths, rainy day fun, walks, days out in Yorkshire and historic gardens.
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