“In terms of exhibition organising, works by Van Gogh are always really difficult to obtain because they mean an awful lot to the visitors of a museum who often come thousands of miles to see them. “There are two reasons.“First, they are fragile works, and for conservation reasons they either cannot travel at all or are only allowed to in very exceptional circumstances.”Secondly, they are probably the most popular paintings in all the galleries that own them, so the owning institutions are very reluctant to allow them to leave.”Susan Foister, deputy director of the National Gallery, said: “To get them all together physically would be pretty challenging and might take quite a long time.“The fact that you can actually bring them together digitally was a solution that really appealed to us, particularly just now with all the experimenting we’ve started to do with Facebook and virtual reality. Sunflowers 1888Credit:National Gallery, London Virtual Reality, used here in a Sotheby’s art exhibition For art lovers, it would be something of a holy grail: five of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings exhibited together, for the first time.In more than a century, no curator has managed to assemble them in the same room, with the sometimes fragile works scattered around the world and too important for galleries to lend.To break that stalemate, and in acknowledgment that the paintings will likely never be united in real life, the National Gallery has announced the next best thing: a “virtual exhibition” on Facebook Live. On Monday, they will be exhibited on Facebook in live relay, with expert curators giving a 15 minute tour of each work before handing over to the next gallery.Martin Bailey, Van Gogh expert, said the paintings had never been seen together since they left the artist’s family. Then, people queued around the gallery to see the two paintings side by side.Realising the public appetite, the National Gallery launched a project to unite their Sunflower co-owners around the world. In addition to the live broadcast, it will also be hosting a virtual reality version of the gallery, in which digital visitors can see the five paintings hanging together in one room.Willem van Gogh, the great-grandson of Theo, is narrating. He said: “Rather like the ‘Mona Lisa’ and ‘The Night Watch’, Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ are works of art that continue to intrigue and inspire, perhaps into eternity. Sunflowers, 1888 Credit:Neue Pinakothek Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “Indeed, each generation forges a fresh, highly personal bind with them. The virtual gallery and live stream now provide a novel way for art lovers, young and old, to admire these magnificent masterpieces, from all corners of the globe. I think this is fantastic.” The gallery’s deputy director said it would likely be the only opportunity for people to see the paintings together in their lifetime, adding it was “absolutely unbeatably exciting”.The five paintings are currently hanging in galleries across three continents, from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Neue Pinakothek in Munich and the Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Museum of Art, Tokyo. The National Gallery will be one of five contributors “That’s often the case with great works of art, particularly with works by Van Gogh, and Sunflowers above all.”Asked whether the Facebook live is likely to be the only opportunity for members of the public to see all five works together in their lifetimes, she added: “Absolutely. This is why it’s such a tremendous event.”The project, coordinated by the National Gallery, was inspired after a blockbuster exhibition in 2014 in which the Van Gogh Museum loaned its Sunflowers. Van Gogh had been unable to sell any of the Sunflowers during his lifetime, with the paintings passing to his brother Theo after his death and then to Theo’s wife Jo Bonger.She in turn sold off four of the paintings from 1891 to 1924, keeping one, which is now at the Van Gogh Museum, in the family.Bailey, author of The Sunflowers are Mine: The Story of Van Gogh’s Masterpiece [Frances Lincoln], said: “The five Sunflowers in the Facebook presentation have never been exhibited together – and they never will. The paintings were created in 1888/9 in Arles, in the South of France. Two other known versions of the Sunflowers will be missing from the show: one which was destroyed by fire in 1945, and another in a private collection which has not been exhibited since 1948.The Van Gogh Sunflowers Facebook relay will broadcast from August 14 at 5.50pm. Vincent van Gogh, Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear. 1889
Weba Chute Systems are successfully transferring crushed ore at the Tshipi Borwa manganese mine and based on the successes achieved by these custom engineered transfer points the company has received an order to design another 40 chute systems. Tshipi Borwa, located in the Kalahari Manganese Field in the Northern Cape, is a modern low cost open pit manganese operation has been exporting ore since 2012.Wesley Hunkin, Designer at Weba Chute Systems, says that in total nine transfer chutes were supplied to the mine late last year and include an apron feeder/discharge grizzly feed chute, a crusher feed chute, a grizzly underpan chute and a dribble chute.“As an OEM recognised for our engineering skills we are able to leverage this technical expertise and provide transfer point solutions that are suited to arduous applications such as the one at Tshipi Borwa,” Hunkin says. “In addition to manganese being recognised as a heavy material, the large lump sizes being handled at this plant called for robust chutes that would provide extended wear life.”Commenting on the large lump sizes being handled, Hunkin says that particle sizes up to 800 mm by 800 mm enter the primary crushing circuit and have posed challenges. The Weba Chute Systems technical team is working closely with the mine personnel to solve these.The transfer points after the primary crusher cater for lump sizes of up to 350 mm and crushed material is transferred via conveyor flowing through inline chutes before it reaches the stockpile. Included in these chutes is a fixed tripper conveyor chute capable of splitting the flow of material to whichever side of the stock pile required. When material feed direction is changed it is obviously necessary that the flow of material through the chute does the same.It was necessary to ensure that the fines would not report to the primary stockpile and this was accomplished by incorporating a scraper fines dribble chute within this section of the transfer tower.The chutes are equipped with the Weba Quick Release Lip which facilitates quick changeout when the chute lip has become worn, saving on maintenance costs. A major advantage of this innovative wear resistant component is that only the worn section needs to be replaced and this further reduces costs. All chute systems are equipped with inspection hatches allowing the mine maintenance team to do visual inspections thereby preplanning such replacement.“The order received to engineer the additional 40 chutes can be attributed to the success being achieved with the chutes already installed, and our ability to custom engineer chute systems for both greenfields and brownfields projects,” Hunkin says.“It is always preferable to be involved in a project from the beginning as this allows the complexity of chute performance to be taken into account at the plant design stage, and material transfer can be optimised by defining the geometry of the chute to reliably convey material from one point to another,” Hunkin says.In reality this is not always possible, and Weba Chute Systems is often required to engineer systems for retrofit where existing transfer points have proved inadequate. The company’s depth of experience and technical skill have ensured that workable solutions can be applied in the case of replacement chutes.Weba Chute Systems can point to an installed footprint of more than 4,500 operational chutes worldwide. Transfer points are manufactured at the company’s Wadeville facility which is ISO 9001:2015 accredited.