Last month, Bath Time discovered a veiled painting alongside previous Chancellors of the University in 4 West. A plaque was later discovered that stated this was, in fact, a portrait of Glynis Breakwell, the University’s previous Vice Chancellor. In the following days this painting was removed and has not been seen publicly since.
A Freedom of Information Act requested by Bath Time has revealed that the full cost of this painting and its framing comes to £16,398.46.
Additionally, the plaque which labels these paintings (now removed) cost the University £462, while the unveiling event cost £750, although final charges have not yet been received.
The University failed to respond to questions surrounding their justification of this spending, the decision-making process that led to the commissioning of this painting, and who attended the event.
The plaque was unveiled in the closing days of Breakwell’s employment at the University. The ceremony occured on the 25th February and was attended by Prince Edward, the University’s Chancellor.
Having finished employment at the University, Breakwell’s Lansdown Crescent residence has since been listed for sale. This property, owned by the University, has not been included as part of the incoming Vice Chancellor’s remuneration package. Offers exceeding £2.95 million are being considered.
UPDATE: The University has now provided response to these questions: “Portraits have been commissioned for all previous Vice-Chancellors, including the most recent, to mark their contribution to the University. A procurement process for the painting was conducted and authorised by the University Secretary and previous Chair of Council. A small group of people attended the unveiling event, which was hosted by our Chancellor, including present and former members of Council, external guests and University staff and students who had worked most closely with the former Vice-Chancellor.”