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Works of Art: Valuation

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, columns 613-4W, on works of art: valuation, what information is required to ensure that a valuation is properly justified; and to what extent the Reviewing Committee can reduce a valuation for a UK purchaser. (134896)

Where an item has been sold at auction, the applicant is required to provide a copy of the entry in the sale catalogue and proof of the price at which the item was sold. Where the valuation represents a private treaty sale or agreement to sell, the applicant is required to provide the written agreement or a certified copy of it, together with any related invoices and to confirm whether the sale agreement represents a single transaction that will not be affected by any other existing or subsequent transactions between the owner and the purchaser. Where the valuation represents an estimate, the applicant is required to provide details of the estimate with background information explaining how the value was reached.

The Reviewing Committee may recommend a valuation different from that proposed by the applicant where it considers that there are reasonable grounds to support such a recommendation. It may also recommend that the Secretary of State seek an independent valuation of the work of art in question.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, columns 613-4W, on works of art: valuation, what the investigative powers are of the Reviewing Committee into valuations. (134897)

The Committee has no formal powers of investigation, but may request the applicant to provide information to substantiate a valuation before, during and after the case hearing. If someone who applies for a licence fails to provide adequate information on valuation as requested by the Committee, the Committee may decline to make a recommendation on valuation and recommend that the Secretary of State seek an independent valuation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2007, Official Report, columns 613-4W, on works of art: valuation, how many times an independent valuation varied from the valuation submitted to the Reviewing Committee in each of the last 10 years; and what steps were taken when this happened. (134898)

Over the last 10 years there has been one occasion where an independent valuation varied from the valuation submitted to the Reviewing Committee. In this case, the Committee took into account all the available evidence and recommended a lower valuation than that provided by the applicant.