Statement from the President of the RAS

Dominik Wujastyk D.Wujastyk at
Tue Nov 9 16:40:14 UTC 1993

Earlier today you will have received a copy of the August newspaper report
by the Telegraph about the RAS's sale of the Farquhar paintings.

Here is a copy of a statement by Prof. Bivar, President of the RAS, which
was distributed to Fellows about a week ago.  With it was distributed
notice of a forthcoming special Fellows' meeting on Dec 9th to discuss
these matters, and a copy of his address of May 93 in which he first raised
the possibility of selling material from the RAS collections.  Most Fellows
not resident in central London will not have seen any of this material
before, or been aware of any of the issues.

Later today I shall post a copy of the abovementioned May address.

I am posting these messages on my own personal behalf, since I consider
them of interest to readers of INDOLOGY.  I am not posting them on behalf
of the RAS or any other body or group.


STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT [of the RAS, London]  (November 1993)

It has come to the notice of the Council that concern is being expressed by
some Fellows, in particular those who did not attend the Annual General
Meeting last May, about the current sale by the Society of the Farquhar
Natural History Albums.  On the strong recommendation of the auctioneers,
the sale was fixed for October 20th, and Fellows have therefore not yet
received the printed copy of my address.  The situation had been
complicated by some misleading statements published in a newspaper
article.  Particularly incorrect was the innuendo that the Council might be
proposing a general sale of other possessions, which is without
foundation.  In view of these misunderstandings, it seems appropriate to
circulate now to all members, in advance of publication, a copy of the May
statement, and to call a Special General Meeting at which the various
aspects of the matter may be discussed.  The Council also proposes three
resolutions for consideration at the meeting, which it is hoped may allay
any uneasiness arising from such misleading reports.  Fellows may also wish
to know that the Farquhar Albums were auctioned at Southeby's on 20th
October 1993, and that the final bid was for pounds 1,220,000.  Although
the identity of the purchaser is not known at present, Fellows will be
relieved to learn that the entire collection went to a single bidder, who
is thought to be an official institution in South-East Asia.  It is of
course fully understood that the result of the sale places substantial
responsibilities on the Council of the Society, and indeed on the general
body of Fellows, to ensure that this accession of funds is applied to the
best long-term advantage of our Society's objectives.
Dominik Wujastyk           Phone (and voice messages): +44 71 611 8467
Wellcome Institute, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list