Some 250 workers at the National Gallery in London are preparing to stage a five day strike next week as the gallery seeks to privatise its service.  

The gallery's workers voted for the strike action with an overwhelming majority. The National Gallery has expressed its "disappointment" at the news and maintains that privatisation is necessary. 

"The sell-off plan... risks damaging the worldwide reputation of what is one of the UK's greatest cultural assets." Asserted Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) general secretary Mark Serwotka. 

The London gallery is a highly regarded institution but the plans to sell off its services could mean it no longer attracts the best art-carers and restorers in the field, as strike-workers complain that: "they have also reneged on a promise to introduce the London living wage, meaning the institution is the only major museum or gallery in the capital that does not pay it."