With stricter export regulations, Great Britain wants to ensure that important cultural assets remain in the country. In future, the provider will have to accept an offer from a museum, gallery or even a private person in the United Kingdom if this is as high as the offer from abroad. The Ministry of Culture announced in London on Saturday.
So far, a “gentleman’s agreement” was in effect – a British prospect was given time to raise enough money for an equivalent offer. The seller did not have to accept this offer. In the past five years, eight works for British collections have therefore been lost, the Ministry said.
“Our museums and galleries are full of treasures that tell us who we are and where we come from,” said State Secretary Caroline Dinenage. The new rules help to save works and use them to “educate and inspire future generations”.
It is the first change in the cultural goods export system in 65 years. The reform will remove the “ambiguity” that has led to “important works of art being lost for the nation,” said the director of the National Gallery in London, Gabriele Finaldi.
With the help of the previous system, several art treasures were saved from being sold abroad. These included, among other things, the sled and flag of Ernest Shackleton’s “Nimrod” Antarctic Expedition, works by the Spanish artist Salvador Dalí, and daggers and other items by the officer TE Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia”.
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