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Thursday 29 September 2022

Why you need to see this famous artwork now

One of Britain's most iconic works of art is under potential threat of being removed from public view.

LS Lowry's Going To The Match is currently on display at the superb The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex at Salford Quays in Manchester - a venue that is well worth a visit for anyone in town.

It is on loan from The Players Foundation (PF), the Professional Footballers' Association charity, which intends to auction the painting next month to raise money for its charitable works.

Salford's mayor has called on the "footballing community" to fund the purchase of the painting - valued at £8 million ($13.3 million AUD) so it can remain on public display, The Fiver online newsletter reported.

It has been loaning the 1953 work to the arts centre.

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett said "finding £8m-plus wouldn't be too difficult" for the area's footballers.

The PF said the financial crisis meant it had to sell "in the interests of our beneficiaries" as it "no longer has any income guaranteed, so we have had to completely reposition".

The work shows fans on their way to Bolton's former ground Burnden Park (a cold, bleak place, trust me).

"Wouldn't it be truly tragic if this iconic LS Lowry painting... was sold to a private collector and ceased to be free to access by people here in the City of Salford as it has been for the past 22 years?" Dunnett said.

"I'd like to make a personal plea for the footballing community here in Greater Manchester to look at retaining this painting for the people of Greater Manchester.

"There's a lot of money in that community, so finding £8m-plus wouldn't be too difficult."

Lowry, who died in 1976, spent much of his life in Salford and his work is strongly associated with the city.

The work will be auctioned at Christie's in London on October 19.

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