- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Art Museum has announced the first artwork to be auctioned to pay off debt and replenish its endowment.

The museum announced Tuesday that “Isabella and the Pot of Basil,” by William Holman Hunt will be the first of as many as four paintings sold in coming months. It will be sold through Christie’s auction house in London on June 17.

The museum, which has one of the most significant pre-Raphaelite collections outside of the United Kingdom, hopes to raise $30 million through the sales to repay $19.8 million in bond debt and stabilize its finances.

The museum declined to name other works that could be sold, saying it could hurt private sales. But the museum says it will not sell artworks that were gifts.

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