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Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest

Volume 558: debated on Thursday 14 February 2013

On 15 December 2011, Official Report, columns 113-114WS, I made a written statement to Parliament about the triennial review of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art. I am pleased today to announce the completion of the review.

The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art fulfils the important advisory role of recommending to the Secretary of State action to be taken on all cases where refusal of an export licence for an object of cultural interest is suggested on grounds of national importance, and advising her on the principles which should govern the control of export of objects of cultural interest under the Export Control Act 2002 and on the operation of the export control system generally.

The review concludes that there is a continuing role for the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art as an advisory non-departmental public body with secretariat support provided by Arts Council England. It finds that the Committee has good standards of corporate governance and it makes a number of recommendations aimed at strengthening transparency and openness.

The review of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art was conducted by my Department with the support of a review group made up of key stakeholders with a direct interest in the export licensing process. The review was publicised on my Department’s website and stakeholders were invited to contribute views.

I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the review. Copies have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.