Printed on paper containing 75% recycled fibre content minimum. Export of Objects of Cultural Interest
1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014
I Report of the Secretary of State
II Report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
Annual report to Parliament
By the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Secretary of State’s foreword to the annual report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest 2013/14
I am pleased to lay before Parliament the tenth annual report on the operation of the export controls on objects of cultural interest, as required by section 10(1) (a) of the Export Control Act 2002 (the 2002 Act). The report covers the period 1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014.
This is the 60th year that the Government has published the annual report of the Reviewing Committee and I would like to express my gratitude to the Committee, its expert advisers and staff at the Arts Council for their hard work in ensuring that the export licensing system continues to operate effectively. The objects that come before the Committee are wide-ranging and in most cases unique, and I am always impressed at the quality of advice and depth of understanding that the Committee is able to provide to assist me in determining whether items are of sufficient national importance to make an attempt to keep them in the UK.
I am extremely pleased that, following Lord Inglewood’s excellent stewardship as Chair of the Committee over the previous 10 years, he has such a capable and accomplished successor in Sir Hayden Phillips. Sir Hayden has already presided over some challenging cases and I am sure that the Committee will benefit from his wide experience and skills.
I am delighted that, of the 22 works of art and cultural objects the Committee found to meet the Waverley criteria and which were subsequently placed under temporary export deferral, eight items, worth £13.85 million, were saved from export overseas – a significant benefit to our national heritage. This year’s report is another treasure trove of rare and beautiful objects. For example, we saved the Monson Catholicon Anglicum, a bilingual Middle-English Latin dictionary and one of the first English-Latin dictionaries of which there are only two surviving examples. Its 8,000 words not only offer a fascinating insight into our linguistic past but they also tell us much about the culture and beliefs of medieval England. It will now be enjoyed by millions of visitors to the British Library.
Another highlight and a superb choice for the front cover of this year’s report is Lusieri’s stunning watercolour Panoramic view of Rome: From the Capitoline Hill to the Aventine Hill. This magnificent work which so splendidly captures the lighting and atmosphere of the city is important for the study of watercolour landscapes and has been acquired by the British Museum.
I would like to thank the many private donors and organisations who play a vital role in ensuring that important items of national treasure are saved from export. In particular, I would like to thank the Art Fund who supported several acquisitions including the British Museum’s purchase of the Lusieri watercolour as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum’s acquisition of a French Empire style medal cabinet dating from the early 1800s. This cabinet, now in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum, is of outstanding aesthetic importance and is highly significant to the study of the history of design.
Furthermore, I would like to express my profound thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund who contributed £6.3 million towards the acquisition of the self-portrait of Sir Anthony van Dyck as well as the Art Fund, the Monument Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation who, in total, donated £2.55 million. These were valuable donations which made a significant contribution towards enabling the National Portrait Gallery to acquire the painting, in spite of the application for export being withdrawn. In this case I was particularly touched by the £1.44 million raised by individuals, demonstrating that the generosity of the British public is seen at its finest when iconic national treasures are at risk of being lost. The public ownership of this painting, which is one of the finest intimate works from van Dyck’s time in England, would almost certainly not have been possible without the Committee’s intervention and the benevolence of this coalition of supporters. I would hope that a similar collective energy and leadership might be brought to bear in future in the case of all objects found by the Reviewing Committee to be national treasures.
I share the Committee’s disappointment that, despite these superb efforts, it is not always possible to raise the funding required to keep some outstanding works of art in the UK. Particularly saddening was the reference in this year’s report to the loss of Rembrandt van Rijn’s portrait, Rembrandt Laughing, a captivating painting which is of outstanding significance for the study of Dutch painting and the work of Rembrandt in the 1620s.
I welcome the Reviewing Committee’s commitment to review and update its procedures in order to ensure that this process works to save as many significant items as possible from export. Funding is, of course, always a pressing issue and I am pleased the Committee has drawn attention to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s grant scheme and its dedication to ensuring ease of use in its application process.
I am keen to ensure that we continue to promote the Cultural Gifts Scheme and Acceptance in Lieu scheme as effective mechanisms for capturing culturally significant items and I hope that sellers will be encouraged to consider the benefits of these schemes before applying to export items for sale abroad.
Whilst we redouble our efforts to protect and save our national treasures from disappearing from our shores, let us celebrate another 12 months of dedicated effort from all those who strive so hard to make this system a success. It is their commitment, together with the continuing enthusiasm and dedication of world class experts in museums and the many volunteers and supporters throughout the UK, which has made this possible.
Sajid Javid Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Operation of the Control
The following figures cover the period of this report (1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014).
1 May 2012 – 30 April 2013
1 May 2013 – 30 April 2014
Number of applications for individual export licences1
Number of above applications which were for manuscripts, documents or archives
Number of items licensed after reference to expert advisers
on the question of national importance
Total value of items in (c)
Number of Open Individual Export Licences (OIEL) in operation having been issued in previous years to regular exporters for the export of (i) manuscripts, documents, archives and photographic positives and negatives; (ii) objects imported into the UK in the past 50 years; (iii) UK origin coins; (iv) the temporary export of a Rolls Royce; (v) the temporary export of objects in soil samples from archaeological sites in Northern Ireland; (vi) the temporary export of objects owned or under the control of national institutions or institutions holding designated collections.
Number of items licensed after the Export Licensing Unit was satisfied of import into the UK within the past 50 years
Total value of items in (f)
Number of items in (f) which were manuscripts, documents or archives
Total value of items in (h)
Number of items given an EU licence without reference to the question of national importance because they were either: valued at below the appropriate UK monetary limit2; owned by a museum or gallery that had an OIEL; manuscripts valued at £1,500 or less or coins valued at £500 or less and the exporter held a valid OIEL; musical instruments exported for less than three months for use in the course of work by a professional musician; a motor vehicle exported for less than three months for social, domestic or pleasure purposes; a foreign registered motor vehicle exported following importation for less than three months for pleasure purposes; imported into the UK in the last 50 years and were being exported on a temporary basis.
Total value of items in (j)
1 One application may cover several items.
2 In some cases, an EU export licence may be required to export items that are valued below the relevant UK monetary limit. In such cases, an EU licence will normally be given without referring the licence application to the expert adviser on the question of national importance. Report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014
To: The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
60th Report of the Reviewing Committee Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
Case 12 Giovanni Battista Lusieri, Panoramic view of Rome: From Saint Peter’s to the Chiesa Nuova 38
Case 13 Giovanni Battista Lusieri, Panoramic view of Rome: From the Capitoline Hill to the Aventine Hill 38
Case 14 The Monson Catholicon Anglicum 40
Case 15 A pair of bronze sculptures by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi 42
Case 16 A Celtic chariot lynch pin 44
Case 17 Benjamin West, Devout Men Taking the Body of St Stephen 45
Case 18 Alonso Sánchez Coello, Portrait of the Infante Don Diego, son of King Philip II of Spain 47
Case 19 A gilt-bronze centrepiece by DR Gastecloux 49
Case 20 Benjamin West, Milkmaids in St James’s Park, Westminster Abbey beyond 51
Case 21 Nicolas Poussin, The infant Moses trampling upon Pharaoh’s Crown 52
Case 22 An Empire style medal cabinet 54
Case 23 Charles Le Brun, Portrait of Everhard Jabach and family 56
Case 24 Gwen John, Portrait of the artist’s sister, Winifred 58
Case 25 A collection of works by Thomas Baines, North Australian Expedition 1855–7 58
Case 26 The Norman Album: images from the life of Julia Margaret Cameron 61
Case 27 An Iron Age bronze mirror 62
Case 28 A pair of Himalayan bronze fantastical lion dogs 61
Full list of plates available at Appendix M, page 86
A Report on additional funding for acquisitions 65
B History of export controls in the UK 72
C Terms of reference of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects
of Cultural Interest 74
D Membership of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects
of Cultural Interest during 2013/14 74
E List of independent assessors who attended meetings during 2013/14 77
F Value of items placed under deferral (2004/05 to 2013/14)
i) for which permanent licences were issued and
ii) where items were purchased by UK institutions or individuals 79
G Items licensed for export after reference to expert advisers for advice as to national importance 80
H Applications considered and deferred on the recommendation of the Reviewing Committee
on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (2004/05 to 2013/14) 82
J Composition of the Advisory Council on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest 83
K Further reading 84
L Membership of the Working Party on Manuscripts, Documents and Archives during 2013/14 85
M Full list of plates 86 Part I:
Reviewing Committee Report for 2013/14
1 May 2013 to 30 April 2014
It has been another eventful year for the Reviewing Committee, with 29 cases considered. We are delighted that eight varied works with a total value at deferral of £13.9 million have been saved for the nation, ranging from Lusieri’s evocative watercolour of Rome to two compelling manuscripts and an exquisitely crafted and elegant French Empire style medal cabinet, which are now in galleries, museums and archives across the country. There have been losses to the nation’s heritage, but we remain hopeful that the significant tax incentives available for sales to museums and the streamlining of the application process for Heritage Lottery Fund grants will encourage more museums to pursue acquisitions in the future. We also continue to review and update our own procedures to ensure fairness in the export system for all parties.
Expert advisers, independent assessors and the administration of the system of export control
The Committee would like once more to thank the expert advisers and the independent assessors for their vital expertise, time and commitment. Expert advisers considered 32,640 objects of which 29* cases came before the Committee. This shows the degree of care they exercise before referring objects to the Committee. The role they all play is essential to the proper working of the system. We would also like to thank all those in the Export Licensing Unit at the Arts Council and at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) who administer the system on the Secretary of State’s behalf, without whose efforts the system of export control could not function in the manner in which it does.
Observations on the working of the system of export control
As well as considering individual cases, the Committee also has a wider, and equally important, remit to keep a watching brief over the workings of the export control system and advise the Secretary of State on any issues of overall concern. Referral of objects by expert advisers and funding issues
We continue to encourage the expert advisers to refer to the Committee for consideration objects that might potentially meet the Waverley criteria. Expert advisers play a crucial role in ensuring that objects potentially of Waverley standard come before the Committee; they are the bedrock of our system. In cases of doubt and where objects are felt to be ‘borderline’, expert advisers should always bring such objects forward, so that the Committee can decide on whether they meet the criteria. It is of the utmost importance that the process should be carried out thoroughly and meticulously, irrespective of whether there is any expectation that funds might be available from any source for the purchase of export deferred objects.
Of course we recognise that in the current economic climate and an escalating art market, in which exceptional pieces continue to achieve outstanding prices, funding issues are critical. This, additionally, is at a time when museum purchase grants, whether national, regional or local, have unhappily been allowed to dwindle almost to insignificance. In the year 2013/14, as in previous reporting years, a number of objects which the Secretary of State has deferred from export on the recommendation of the Committee have not, in the end, been retained in this country. We continue to hope that recent welcome changes to the tax system will help improve the position, and also that sellers will first consider private treaty sales to UK institutions, which can be of greater financial benefit to them (under the ‘douceur’ arrangements) than an open market sale. As we highlighted last year (Annual Report 2012/13), such ‘douceur’ benefits are not available to export-deferred items which come before the Committee. The Committee welcomed the Heritage Lottery Fund’s change to its acquisitions policy in October 2011, making it simpler for organisations to acquire portable heritage when having to respond to tight deadlines. We have continued to see the benefits of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s generous approach, which has enabled interested institutions to be in a position to make a matching offer to purchase a number of export-deferred items in recent years.
Philanthropy – Cultural Gifts Scheme
We are pleased that the Cultural Gifts Scheme introduced last year has already attracted a number of interesting and varied offers which have resulted in several important acquisitions for the Holburne Museum in Bath, the University of Bristol’s Special Collections, the British Library and the National Gallery in London and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. This most significant new mechanism to assist the retention of British heritage continues to grow in popularity, and we are delighted that the combined annual limit for the Cultural Gifts Scheme and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme was increased from £30 million to £40 million from 2014/15. We would emphasise that we believe it has the potential to play a role in retaining objects of Waverley significance in the UK, and we hope that private collectors who are considering selling works of art might choose to donate them to the nation through the Scheme rather than selling them either privately or at auction with the ensuing risk that they may go abroad. Conversely, a potential donor might consider purchasing an export deferred object and donating it to the nation through this Scheme.
In previous years we have expressed our hope that applicants and their advisers will honour their commitments, including their formally declared preparedness to accept a matching offer from a purchaser who will retain the object in the UK. Equally, we make a similar appeal to anyone considering making a serious expression of interest in purchasing an export-deferred item. We ask that potential purchasers give careful consideration before making an expression of interest, which should not be undertaken lightly, and – having done so – that they keep the Reviewing Committee Secretariat updated as to the progress of their fundraising and plans for acquisition. If an interested party is no longer able to follow this through, they should let the ‘Champion’* know as soon as possible.
The tax-remitted compensating price
Last year we clarified that it is not appropriate that a ‘douceur’, which is an inducement to sell direct to the nation, is applied on a sale resulting after an export deferral. Where a sale is to a body listed in Schedule 3 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984, the sale is tax free, but in such cases a compensating offer does not include any douceur element; it is simply the net of tax price (‘the tax-remitted compensating price’). Sometimes this involves a substantial financial benefit to a public institution as was the case with the painting by Pietro Lorenzetti, Christ between Saints Paul and Peter, reported as case 12 in our 2012/13 report. It is only fair, given the time constraints imposed by the deferral system, that the net of tax price to be given to any museums or similar bodies which express an interest in trying to raise the funds to make a matching offer is calculated as early as possible in the process. Not only do they need this information in order to assess whether they can express an interest in the first place but also so they can approach funding bodies with more precise details of the amount they need to raise. For this reason we now ask applicants to provide a calculation of the estimated net-of-tax price, and until this is to hand the press release from which time the deferral will start to run will not be issued. This net of tax price, which will subsequently require HMRC approval, will be made available to the expert adviser who acts as Champion and they can make it available to potentially interested institutions.
Three months’ notice of sale
We would like to clarify that failure to give the requested three month notice of an intention to sell an object conditionally exempted from capital taxation will normally result either in us recommending that the Secretary of State extend the initial deferral period by three months or in us requiring the applicant to fulfil that condition before we can consider the licence application.
There were only two changes of membership during 2013/14, with the conclusion of Lord Inglewood’s 10-year term as Chair and the appointment of Sir Hayden Phillips GCB DL as his successor. Lord Inglewood’s term of appointment expired on 24 February 2014. We would like to record our enormous appreciation for his leadership and invaluable contribution over the 10 years of his chairmanship. Sir Hayden’s career has encompassed a large number of roles including Chair of the National Theatre (2004–10), Permanent Secretary – Department for National Heritage, later DCMS (1992–98) and Charities Consultant to HRH the Prince of Wales (2004–09). He was appointed as Chair of the Reviewing Committee on 17 March 2014 for a five-year term.
The Reviewing Committee has UK-wide competence for the Export Control System for Works of Art and Cultural Goods and in carrying out that role is conscious of the importance of the distinct traditions of all parts of the UK.
A full list of members can be found at the beginning of this report and brief biographies are included at Appendix D.
History and operation of the export control system
A full history of export controls in the UK and their rationale are at Appendix B. The terms of reference of the Reviewing Committee are at Appendix C.
* The Champion is the expert appointed by the Secretary of State to alert potential purchasers to an item’s availability.