Croydon Council ceramics fetch £8m at Hong Kong auction
Antique Chinese ceramics owned by Croydon Council have been sold for just over £8m at auction in Hong Kong.
Seventeen items were sold out of 24 pieces available, including Ming bowls bought by Croydon from local businessman Raymond Riesco in 1959.
A blue and white Ming dynasty moon flask fetched the highest price, £2.2m.
The Museums Association had previously accused the council of "asset stripping" its collection and a "breach of the code of ethics".
The council said money from the sale will go towards redeveloping Fairfield Halls, a 50-year-old arts centre.
The remaining 206 pieces of the Riesco collection remain on show at a gallery in Croydon Clocktower.
Maurice Davies, head of policy at the Museums Association, said: "One thing that is sad is Croydon Council was almost taken to court for judicial review because of weaknesses in their decision-making process but campaigners could not raise enough money for the legal fees.
"We certainly hope other local authorities won't think it's easy to asset-strip their museum collection.
"We are calling on Arts Council England to strip Croydon Council of their status of an accredited museum authority."
A Croydon Council spokesman said: "The council is pleased that 17 of the items sold at auction, some of these for more than was expected.
"This will provide significant investment for culture in Croydon."