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Letter: Sad to see Laurentian’s troubles

Uncertain future of Bell Mansion and the art collection very concerning
The Art Gallery of Sudbury is currently housed in the Bell Mansion near Bell Park. File photo.

After reading the article concerning the future of the Bell Mansion and the Art Gallery of Sudbury, I feel compelled to comment regarding the art collection housed in this facility and financial woes of our university.

I realize the university is trying to recoup funds and testing the waters regarding the possible "sale" of parts of the collections "on loan" to the art gallery, in addition to the sale of the building. This is very disappointing.

The Art Gallery of Sudbury, formerly known as the Laurentian University Museum and Arts Centre, has been a hub for visual arts in our community. I am not a patron, but have enjoyed visits from time to time, beginning in elementary school some (ahem) 45 years ago. 

In middle school and high school, it was a privilege to have a piece of your art displayed and was the impetus for many a young artist to consider a career or hobby as a painter, sculptor, weaver and more. It would be sad to see it go, a victim to the financial fallout of the CCAA process. 

When I think of the possible sell-off of property, I recall the story concerning the couple who purchased a home with an encroachment on Laurentian's property. There was an extremely reasonable offer of $70,000 to purchase that miniscule piece of property; however, Laurentian wanted to preserve the property for future use. This was a more than reasonable solution.

But poor decision-making led to accumulated lawyers fees on behalf of both sides when this could have been a "good news" story in the midst of a student fee issue and possible cuts at the university.

It is really and truly sad to see our university dump programs, especially Midwifery, Indigenous and Francophone programs for which they were recognized, and streamline the university to a fraction of what made it unique and desirable as a post-secondary institution. 

Sue Horvath

Greater Sudbury