“I am investigating the extent to which councils in the UK are able to dispose of museum artefacts to raise money.

I’d like to request the following information under FOI.

If your office is responsible for multiple councils, please treat this as a separate FOI request to each council.

1)         How many museums does your council run?

2)         How many items are there in your museums’ collections? What is their combined value?

3)         How many of those items are currently on display? What is their combined value?

4)         For each of the last four financial years, ending with 2017/18:

How many items have been sold by your museums? What is the sum of money those sales have raised?

How much of that money was kept within museums rather than going to other parts of the council?

How many items have been bought by your museums? How much, in total, was paid for them?

5)         Over the last four years, what is the single biggest amount raised by selling an item? What was the item in question? How and to whom was it sold?

6)         Even if no sales have been made, has the council considered selling any of its collection at any point over the last four years?

To be clear – I am only interested in items in the museums’ collection of historical artefacts. I am not interested in how much the museum is spending on buying and selling items like cleaning products, pens or computer equipment.”



Please note that Devon County Council is not responsible for museums and therefore does not hold the information requested.  This is a function provided by District and Unitary councils in Devon. Please contact them directly using the information on the links provided.

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