New details have emerged about the extent of a museum piece sell-off by Leeds City Council.
The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed last year that four items of Hispanic furniture bequeathed to council-run Temple Newsam House in the 1950s had been sold.
Now the council has confirmed that a further 24 pieces from the same collection have also been sold off.
The admission was greeted with dismay today by Dr Jeffrey Sherwin, an honorary alderman of Leeds and a former chairman of the council’s leisure services committee.
He told the YEP: “These sales should have been discussed publicly so that the pros and cons could be aired.
“To learn that pieces have been sold without people having chance to give their views is extremely disappointing.”
A total of 34 items of Hispanic furniture were gifted to Temple Newsam in 1955 by a Lady Ramsden in memory of her late husband.
The previously-confirmed sale of four pieces to the Museum of Fine Arts, in the US city of Boston, raised nearly £17,000. They were sold on “curatorial grounds” after it was decided they did not fit in with Temple Newsam’s collection of British furniture.
The proceeds from their sale were ringfenced to pay for new items for exhibition at Temple Newsam.
No details were available today on the buyer or sale price of the additional 24 pieces.
A council spokesman said, however, that the freshly-revealed sales – which took place in late 2012 – had been handled by “respected agents”. He also said they had been approved by the Museums Association.