The Town Council has voted in favour of loaning William Brown’s celebrated Louth Panorama for Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition in 2015.
The loan was requested by Lord Cormack on behalf of the Historic Lincoln Trust, in advance of the major exhibition at the Usher Gallery from June to September next year.
After much deliberation, Louth Town Council agreed that the masterpiece should, in principle, be loaned for the exhibition - but only if they could be assured that it will be returned to Louth in time for the 500th anniversary of St James’ Church spire on September 13.
The Historic Lincoln Trust would cover all financial costs for the transportation of the Panorama.
However, some concerns were raised about the plans, particularly from Councillor Margaret Ottaway who said: “I can’t imagine that if an exhibition is taking place at the Usher Art Gallery, that they would be quite happy to remove it before the end of September and bring it back to Louth.”
Later, Coun Ottaway added: “We are promoting Louth, day in, day out, and Brown’s Panorama is the only one in Europe. It’s 29 miles from Lincoln, and I will be devastated if anything happens to it.”
In a similar vein, Coun Watson spoke of her worry as Brown’s Panorama is considered “irreplaceable” for the town.
Some councillors, however, were hugely supportive of the move. Councillor Treanor said it would be “marvellous” to see the Panorama in the Usher Gallery, while Coun Ballard said: “Don’t lets be precious about it. We do love it, and it is important, but let other people see it!”
Coun Makinson-Sanders added: “The exhibition is to celebrate the return of Magna Carta and the opening of the castle.
“It’s going to be a huge event in Lincoln and they are expecting people from all round the world. It is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Louth to the world.”
Ultimately, the council voted in favour of the loan.