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Onny Church of England Primary School plays host to French masterpiece
A WORK of art painted by one of the great masters has been on display at a village school near Ludlow.
Under high security, The Sunken Road In The Cliff at Varengeville, painted in 1882 by the great French impressionist Claude Monet, was greeted by pupils at Onny Church of England Primary School in Onibury.
The tiny school, which has just 57 pupils, was one of fewer than 30 in the country to play host to a work of art as part of the ‘Your Paintings: Masterpieces in Schools’ project.
Monet, whose paintings have sold in auction for more than £40 million with fees, was a founder of French impressionist painting and considered to be one of the most influential artists of his time.
Headteacher Rosanne Pugh and her staff have kept the painting’s arrival secret since June but said the wait had been worth it.
“This is amazing for children in rural areas who live a long way from galleries,” she said.
“We have used the painting as part of our work across the curriculum.”
This included a French-style cafe in a marquee in the school grounds that was used to entertain the many guests, including art experts and journalists from across the UK.
“We were expecting something but did not know what it would be,” said Louis Wilkinson, aged 10.
“This came as a complete surprise and is amazing. We are doing a lot of work about Claude Monet. I am inspired and would really like to be able to paint like this.”
The project is part of an ongoing initiative to increase access to the UK’s national art collection.
Launched in June 2011, it currently contains more than 200,000 oil paintings from 3,200 venues across the UK.