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VIII. Decommissioning Policy

A. Purpose:

To insure that the decommissioning of works of art is governed by careful procedures.

B. Policy Statement:

As the Public Art Urban Enhancement Program, a program of the Cultural Services Department, with recommendations from the Albuquerque Arts Board, has the responsibility of conserving the City’s Public Art Collection, and because disposal of artworks is generally irrevocable, decommissioning should be a deliberate procedure.  It is the policy of the City not to dispose of works simply because its original aesthetics are not popular and not to dispose of works whose worth might not yet be recognized.

C. Definitions:

1. “Acquisition” means the inclusion of an artwork in the City’s Public Art Program Collection, whether the acquisition was by commissioning, purchase, donation or any other means.

2. “Decommissioning” means the removal of an artwork from the permanent Public Art Collection.

3. “Disposal” means the cessation of the ownership and possession of an artwork by the City.

D. Criteria for Decommissioning a Work of Art

Work of Art (“Work”) may be considered for decommissioning if one or more of the following conditions apply:

1. It has physically deteriorated, that is, the physical condition of the Work is no longer of an acceptable quality;

2. It is a duplicate, or is considered “excess”, in a large holding of work of that type or of that artist(s);

3. It is fraudulent or not an authentic Work;

4. It possesses faults of workmanship or materials, that are un-repairable;

5. It requires excessive or unreasonable maintenance;

6. It is damaged irreparably, or to an extent where the repair is unreasonable or impractical;

7. It represents a threat to the public safety;

8. A suitable place for display no longer exists;

9. The Work is not, or is rarely displayed;

10. The Work is stolen;

11. A written request from the artist(s) has been received, that seeks removal of the Work, return of the Work to the artist, or for extensive repair of the Work.

E. Procedures for Removal

1. The City must authorize any relocation or removal of Work;

2. When a Work is to be removed for relocation or repair, only authorized representatives or contractors of the City are to handle the Work;

3. In the event that a Work is significantly damaged, stolen or completely destroyed, the City staff will notify the Albuquerque Arts Board, the Client or Department and the City’s Administration. If appropriate, the Albuquerque Police Department will be contacted;

4. The Albuquerque Arts Board may recommend staff request the decommissioning of a Work by a majority vote, with final approval in the sole discretion of the Mayor;

5. Decommissioning procedures shall be held in the context of a meeting of the Albuquerque Arts Board;

6. The artist(s) whose Work is being considered for decommissioning will be notified by reasonable means and shall be invited to speak at the meeting of the Albuquerque Arts Board called to address such decommissioning; and

7. Staff of the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program shall prepare a report for the Albuquerque Arts Board prior to the consideration of the request for decommissioning of a Work including;

a.         Reasons for the suggested decommissioning;

b.         Review by the legal department;

c.         Acquisition method and cost;

d.         Informed estimate of the current value of the Work;

e.         Public and agency feedback on the Work; and

f.          Suggested and alternate courses of action.

F. Courses of Action:

The Albuquerque Arts Board and/or staff of the City of Albuquerque Public Art Program may recommend any of the following courses of action as a result of a decommissioning review.  The Board/staff shall not be limited to these courses of action, but may suggest new methods, as may be appropriate, given by a particular set of circumstances.

1.         Relocate the Work;

2.         Sell or trade the Work;

3.         Offer the artist(s) the opportunity to buy back the Work at the current appraised value, cost of appraisal to be borne by artist;

4.         Advertise the sale of the Work by auction or other public sale; or

5.         Dispose of the Work or remainder of the Work in an appropriate and practical way when other options have not resulted in the disposal of the Work.

G. Proceeds of Sale:

Any net proceeds from disposal shall be returned to an appropriate Public Art Program account to acquire (through the standard public art processes) or maintain other Works for the City Public Art Collection.

H. Compliancy with Laws:

Disposal by any means of any City owned art shall conform to legal requirements.

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