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NZ Post art collection goes to auction

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/04/2016

Work by some of New Zealand's best-known artists is set to go under the hammer as a struggling NZ Post looks to shed its collection.

In the '80s and '90s, the state mail service built up a catalogue of fine art that includes pieces by Gretchen Albrecht, John Pule, Fiona Pardington and Robyn Kahukiwa.

But it no longer thinks it's an appropriate look for a public service and about 50 works from those artists and others will go on auction at Wellington's Dunbar Sloane on Thursday night and Friday.

Among them, Pule's tapestry-like Ka Fai Mahaaho is expected to fetch up to $40,000, Albrecht's Nomadic Geometrics is valued at between $18,000 and $26,000, and Judy Millar's Permanent Sunset could go for as much as $25,000.

All up, Thursday's 18 lots could go for more than $200,000 total, while more affordable works will go under the hammer on Friday.

An NZ Post spokeswoman in March told BusinessDesk a refurbishment of its NZ Post House headquarters had given the organisation a chance to review the collection.

"These are challenging times for New Zealand Post and we feel it is no longer appropriate for us to own an expensive art collection," she said.

The postal service is retaining historically important art, such as paintings of post shops, and art gifted to the business, she said.

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