asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art has now informed him of its decision on the application to export Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington.
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has received a report from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art in connection with Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington.
Hon. Members will have seen in the Press the announcement that Mr. Wrightsman has offered this portrait to the National Gallery at the price which he paid for it. The National Gallery Trustees are at present considering this offer. The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art has therefore not yet advised on the case.
Does not the Chancellor agree that this picture combines outstanding artistic merit with uniquely historic importance for this country? I do not expect him to give any specific undertaking in the matter, but does not he agree that it would be most unfortunate if this opportunity to acquire the picture for the nation was lost?
I agree about the merits of the picture. This is an admirable case in which private individuals could show their concern for the retention of works of art in this country by finding the money to pay for it.
I am as anxious as any other hon. Member to keep this work of art within Her Majesty's Dominions, but does my right hon. Friend's jurisdiction extend to Jersey, whence this portrait came?
I do not think that it is a question of my jurisdiction, but it certainly comes within the sphere of authority of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.