Graves relief for art lovers after outcry

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ART lovers told of their relief after plans to close Graves Gallery were withdrawn following a public outcry.

The city centre venue, above Central Library, on Surrey Street, was under threat due to Sheffield Council cutting £328,000 from its grant to Museums Sheffield, the trust which runs the gallery.

Retired engineer Jim Shaw, aged 79, of Norton Lees, said: “I’ve been coming here all my life. The art here belongs to the people of Sheffield. They would be better off sacking all of the high earners in the Town Hall.”

Patricia Gregory, 73, a retired post office worker of Norton Woodseats, added: “I was horrified to hear the gallery was being considered for closure. Had it shut, I would not have had any reason to come to town any more. It’s a haven of peace.”

Dennis Pryce, of Dinnington, a retired art teacher who used to work at Hayfield School, Doncaster, said: “Graves Gallery is responsible for getting me interested in art - I first came here when I was 17. As galleries have come and gone, the Graves has always been here.”

Marilyn Taylor was looking around on a trip from London with her daughter, who has a place to study at Sheffield University.

She said: “I think it is an essential part of a city to have an art gallery. This building has a nice combination of art, IT, books and activities . It’s unbelievable to think that it could have been closed.”

Glyn Sills, a nurse from Whiston, added: “It’s a very good gallery but they are cutting everything else - it’s a soft target.”

Graham Roberts, of Goldthorpe, a retired Mexborough School teacher, said: “It’s shocking that closure was being considered.”