Couper Collection

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The Couper Collection barges at Battersea, in 2013

The Couper Collection is a registered charity, which for many years exhibited its art in a floating gallery on converted barges, moored on the banks of the Thames in Battersea, London. It has exhibited artworks and installations by artist Max Couper, as well as hosting exhibitions and events by other artists. The Collection began in 1979 as a base for a large sculpture in Battersea Park. In 1999 it was launched as a charity[1] by then UK Home Secretary Jack Straw MP.

After a dispute with developer Hutchison Whampoa in 2013, the Couper Collection barges were ruled to be illegally moored. The gallery no longer exists and vessels have been sold.[citation needed]


Major works by the Couper Collection have included:

The Couper Collection has also hosted a Museum of First Art containing children's artworks.

Challenged mooring rights[edit]

In 2014, the Couper Collection was involved a dispute with Hutchison Whampoa and the Port of London Authority regarding a land claim and Foster's plans to remove the charity's barges.[2] Ken Livingstone spoke in favour of the Collection.[citation needed] Foster's lawyers, Farrer and Co., put in objections to the UK Land Registry.[3][full citation needed] Max Couper claimed "ancient mooring rights", but a judge ruled that the barges were illegally moored and should be removed, and Hutchison Whampoa sought to enforce the ruling with a further High Court order to "dispose of or destroy" the gallery. The PLA offered alternative mooring sites, which Couper declined.[2]


  1. ^ "Couper Collection". Charity Commission.
  2. ^ a b "Judi Dench protests against floating art gallery eviction".
  3. ^ "The Times & The Sunday Times".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°28′51.39″N 0°10′8.51″W / 51.4809417°N 0.1690306°W / 51.4809417; -0.1690306