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Manet and Britten works among treasures worth more than £29 million saved for the nation in 2011/12

  • Date: 18 December 2012
  • Area: National

Items by Edouard Manet and Benjamin Britten were among four national treasures, worth more than £29 million, saved from leaving the country in the last year and purchased for public collections across the UK.

They are highlighted in the 58th annual report Export of Objects of Cultural Interest by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, published today.

Manet and Britten items among four works acquired for nation

The items acquired by British institutions are:

Tax system enables cultural treasures to stay in the UK

Lord Inglewood, Chairman of the Reviewing Committee, said:

'It is very encouraging that, thanks to tax relief, institutions had to raise just under £9.3 million in order to purchase items worth over £29 million. This shows the benefits that can arise from the workings of a tax system which encourages the retention of treasures like these in this country.

'I would encourage the Treasury to look sympathetically and constructively at how the nation in the future can benefit even more from such schemes.'

Export licensing - how it works

Cultural objects of more than 50 years of age, and valued above a certain price, require a licence for export out of the UK, whether on a permanent or temporary basis. The Reviewing Committee, administered by Arts Council England, review these items against the three Waverley Criteria, which are used to assess whether the object is of national importance.

Where the Committee finds that an object meets one or more of the criteria, it will normally recommend to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport that the decision on the export licence application should be deferred for a specified period. The Secretary of State can then place a temporary export bar on the item, giving museums, galleries, libraries and private individuals in the UK time to raise the necessary funds to purchase it.

The four items bought by public institutions were among a total of 11 items considered by the Reviewing Committee between 1 May 2011 and 30 April 2012, seven of which were referred to the Secretary of State.

The Reviewing Committee

The Reviewing Committee is an independent body, serviced by the Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit (AELCU) of Arts Council England. The AELCU safeguards and enriches the cultural property of the nation by: