Office of the Premier

Premier's statement on Beaverbrook Art Gallery decision (09/09/09)

NB 1304

Sept. 9, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following statement on the decision by the appeal panel in the dispute involving the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and the Beaverbrook foundations was issued today by Premier Shawn Graham:

I would like to congratulate the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on a successful outcome to the appeal brought by the Beaverbrook foundations regarding the works of art given to the Province of New Brunswick by Lord Beaverbrook.

The decision by the appeal panel upheld the 2007 decision of the original arbiter, Justice Peter Cory, who ruled ownership of 85 of the paintings lay with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The panel ruled that Justice Cory was reasonable in his decision, and had not erred in his ruling.

With this decision, the long legal dispute over ownership of these important works comes to an end. The decision shows that the gallery, its staff and board of governors, made the right choice in fighting to safeguard these important works of art for the people of New Brunswick. Today's news is especially fitting given that the gallery's 50th anniversary is just around the corner.

The Government of New Brunswick has been proud to assist the gallery during the past five years in its efforts to establish the legal right to these paintings.

This decision reinforces the prime place the Beaverbrook Art Gallery plays as New Brunswick's provincial gallery and as the centre of the arts community in our province.

Having the ownership of these paintings clarified once and for all is a big step, and will allow the gallery to plan for the future, move past this dispute, and preserve and enhance this important legacy of Lord Beaverbrook.