More of Lenkiewicz’s legacy (books) to come under the hammer

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    Plymouth Evening Herald wrote:
    More treasures collected by Plymouth artist Robert Lenkiewicz are to be sold off to help pay spiralling debts of more than £1 million, the Herald can reveal.

    Up to 600 rare books from the controversial painter's prized collection on magic and the occult will be auctioned in a bid to raise an estimated £500,000.

    It is the latest move in the desperate battle by trustees of the Lenkiewicz estate to save his legacy in the face of massive debts and legal costs.

    Earlier this year the Herald revealed that a major auction of about 200 Lenkiewicz paintings was to be held at Sothebys, in London, which it was hoped would wipe out half the outstanding debts left following Mr Lenkiewicz'z death a year ago on August 5.

    Today trustees of the estate spoke of their sadness at the latest decision to auction Mr Lenkiewicz's precious books but said it was the only alternative to selling more of his paintings.

    A further sell-off cannot be ruled out as the Lenkiewicz Foundation faces the twin challenges of paying off the artist's debts and securing a suitable home for the entire Lenkiewicz collection.

    Annie Hill-Smith, chairman of the Lenkiewicz Foundation, said the decision to sell the books had caused 'deep concern'.

    "The trustees were extremely reluctant to do this, but they recognise that Robert was very much seen as a Plymouth painter," she said.

    "Even though we realise his books were integral to his library, we had a responsibility to the people of Plymouth. So many of his paintings are of the people of Plymouth."

    The next four months will now become a crucial time for all those involved in trying to preserve the estate, but Ms Hill-Smith pledged the foundation and the Lenkiewicz collection would survive.

    She said: "We are not going under, absolutely not. Hard decisions have been taken and people are sticking with it.

    "The trustees are very committed to saving the legacy and keeping Robert's work in Plymouth."
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