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Art: Export

House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the export control system for art, following recent refusals by new owners to sell after a successful public appeal by a major museum or gallery to secure the work for the nation.

Photo of Baroness Rawlings Baroness Rawlings Lords Spokesperson (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

In the vast majority of cases the export licensing system works very well. However, in a small number of cases the owner of an export-deferred item has refused a matching offer from a museum or gallery, despite previously indicating at all stages in the process that they would accept. This is extremely unfortunate, as a great deal of effort and good will goes into fundraising.

The export licensing procedures are continually under review and the problems illustrated by these cases will be taken into account. However, we have no plans for legislation.

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