Museums and Galleries: Collections

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 25 October 2022.

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Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the implementation of sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022 on the ability of trustees of national museums to seek authorisation from the (a) Charity Commission, (b) Attorney general or (c) in the courts to return collection items if they are motivated by a moral obligation.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Charities Act 2022 on decisions by trustees of national museums to consider the moral claims of restitution claimants.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Charities Act 2022: implementation plan, published April 2022, what plans do the Government have to bring sections 15 and 16 of the Act into force.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government is deferring the commencement of sections 15 and 16 of the Charities Act 2022 until we fully understand the implications for National Museums and other charities. When Parliament debated the Charities Bill, enabling national museums to restitute items from their collections based on moral grounds was neither considered, nor agreed on.

Deferring the commencement of these sections of the Act, which were initially planned to be in the first tranche of commencements in autumn 2022, will have no impact on the implementation of the other sections in the Charities Act 2022.

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