Moving Pictures



What kind of headache do you get when you send one hundred priceless paintings off on a world tour? Max Cotton reveals the story of Dulwich Picture Gallery, Britain's oldest public art gallery, which closed down last Christmas for a nine million pound facelift. Rather than allow its collection to gather dust, the pictures were sent abroad to earn their living.


In 1939, to keep the nation's pictures safe from German bombs, The National Gallery evacuated the entire collection from it's home in Travalgar Square to a number of large houses in Wales, and then to the Manod Slate Quarry near Blaenau Ffestiniog. Emrys Evans recalls seeing the strange shaped lorries lumbering up the valley to their secret destination, and current gallery staff ponder on how they would react to the threat of war today.