By Associated Press - Thursday, June 19, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington has lost its national accreditation and may not be able to borrow artwork from other museums after it began selling paintings to pay debts.

The American Alliance of Museums said Wednesday that collections cannot be treated as disposable assets.

The alliance says its accrediting commission voted unanimously to revoke the museum’s accreditation. The group says the museum’s actions violate museum standards and ethics.

The Association of Art Museum Directors advised members to stop loaning works to the Delaware museum.

Delaware Art Museum officials have said they faced the choice of selling artworks or closing.

The museum sold William Holman Hunt’s 1868 painting “Isabella and the Pot of Basil” Tuesday in London for $4.25 million. It was a record but short of an initial estimate.

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