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Lowry Merthyr Synagogue painting sold at Christie’s auction

A rarely seen 1960 painting of the former Merthyr Tydfil synagogue in Wales by L S Lowry has just been auctioned by Christies, selling for just over £277,000.

The striking features of the Victorian grade II listed synagogue have attracted various artists over the years. Lowry encountered the synagogue on a visit to South Wales and it clearly had an impact.

The current owners of the synagogue building, the Foundation for Jewish Heritage, are making enquiries to discover the identify of the paintings purchaser.

The building ceased to function as a synagogue in 1983. It was bought in 2019 by the Foundation with the plan to turn the site into a Welsh Jewish Heritage Centre.

A submission was made last month to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Michael Mail, Foundation Chief Executive, commented, “we were not aware of this Lowry painting and are excited that it has come to light. It is wonderful to think that the synagogue, and Merthyr, is part of L S Lowry’s body of work and that his famous matchstick characters include Merthyr’s very own, captured admiring the synagogue. We are hoping to establish who the new owner of the painting is, so we can introduce ourselves and our project.”

Feature on BBC Wales News

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