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Australia gifts Boyd prints to British Museum


The Australian Government today presented 19 prints by one of Australia's greatest ever artists, Arthur Boyd, to the British Museum.

The prints focus on themes from Greek and Roman mythology and religious figures including St Francis of Assisi.

'Arthur Boyd was an artist with exceptional talent and a generous spirit-these prints deal with the universal humanitarian themes so common in his work,' Federal Minister for the Arts, Peter McGauran, said.

'The British Museum holds one of the world's greatest collections of graphic art, so these magnificent Arthur Boyd prints will be in fine company,' he said.

The British Museum started collecting prints by contemporary artists in the 1920s, and is now working towards forming a representative Australian collection-something they have already done with prints from the United States, Germany and Scandinavia.

'The presentation of these prints will help build on what has been a close and successful working relationship between the British Museum and the National Gallery of Australia,' Mr McGauran said.

'I am delighted to entrust these valuable prints to the care of the British Museum and know they will enthral visitors to the Museum for years to come.

'Arthur Boyd produced the prints while he was living in England in the 1960s, so they have returned to the land in which they were conceived,' Mr McGauran said.

A wide variety of arts activities are currently taking place in London as part of the Australia Week Heads Up Australian Art Festival, including the exhibition Arthur Boyd and the Exile of Imagination at Australia House.

For further information about Australia Week activities in London and the Heads Up Australian Art Festival visit the Centenary of Federation website at www.centenary.gov.au.

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