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Visual Arts: Sales

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the merits of giving priority to private domestic buyers over foreign institutions open to the public in purchasing artworks proposed for export. (128174)

In 1996, the then Secretary of State consulted on whether any specific conditions should be attached to offers to purchase export deferred items made by private buyers. As a result of that consultation, it was decided that an owner's refusal to accept such an offer from a private buyer should lead to an export licence being refused only if the private buyer is able to guarantee reasonable public access and satisfactory conservation conditions for the art work. This remains the position. If an individual refuses an offer where such assurances have been provided, the licence application will normally be refused.