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Tate urged to give away Lowry paintings

19th April 2011

Actor Sir Ian McKellen has urged the Tate to give away its L.S. Lowry paintings - claiming that the works are rarely on display at the London gallery.

The English actor, who is most famous for his role as Gandalf in the film adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, said that it was 'a shame' that visitors to the gallery don't get to see the paintings.

Writing on his personal website, McKellen said: 'If the Tate feels no responsibility to give the art-viewing public their favourite painters to view, perhaps they could let their stash go elsewhere, pass them on to a gallery like The Lowry, who share their visitors' tastes.'

He added that Lowry's popularity amongst the British public means the artist needs no official Tate endorsement and claimed that the 'silly lies [that] have been thrown around - that Lowry was only a Sunday painter, an amateur, untrained, naive' have been comprehensively dispelled.

McKellen said that the Tate should do a touring retrospective with a twist, with the works included in the show also being put up for sale.

His comments come as he paves the way for the Easter Sunday broadcast of Looking for Lowry, a film about the artist by acclaimed documentary maker Margy Kinmonth.

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