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 Sportand Minister
for Women and Equalities
The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest I am pleased to lay before Parliament the eighth 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 2011 to 30 April 2012.
This is the 58th year that the Government has published the annual report of the Reviewing Committee and I wish to express my personal support and thanks to the Committee and its expert advisers. We are truly indebted to them and, in particular, to Lord Inglewood for his excellent Chairmanship.
The Committee continues to provide an important safety net in ensuring that there is an opportunity, through our export licensing process, to save some of our most precious cultural treasures from disappearing overseas whilst sustaining a free market and respecting the rights of owners. Of course, it is never possible to save every item recommended as important by the Committee under the Waverley Criteria but, even in these very difficult economic times, it is highly encouraging that national treasures worth just under £30 million have this year been saved for collections throughout the UK.
There are numerous examples from this year’s report which demonstrate the variety and splendour of objects which have been saved for the nation. These include the draft in short score of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, one of the most famous classical pieces of music to have been written by a British composer since the Second World War and now an important addition to the collection of the British Library.
Other notable cases include Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus, an unfinished work and study for his more famous work The Balcony, which reveals much about the artist’s working processes and is a beautiful painting in its own right. With financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Art Fund, the painting was acquired by the Ashmolean Museum and will begin a nationwide tour in 2013.
Furniture and sculpture are also well represented in the form of a pair of 17th century Italian console tables which reflect the history of taste and collecting in 19th century Britain and a sculpture by John Nost the Elder, The Crouching Venus, one of the earliest versions of this kind in England of an antiquity in marble, made for a British client. The tables were acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and National Museums Scotland and the sculpture also went to the V&A.
Of course, it is not possible to save all the items for which the Committee recommends export deferral and each of the three objects which were exported is a sad loss to the nation. In this respect, I very much hope that generous individuals, businesses, and other organisations will continue to support the acquisition of Waverley quality objects, despite the challenging financial climate which we currently face.
The Committee has previously expressed support for greater encouragement for cultural philanthropy to support acquisitions by public collections. The Acceptance in Lieu scheme continues to be an important mechanism by which pre-eminent objects can be taken into public ownership and I was delighted to learn recently that objects with a value of just under £40 million have been accepted into public ownership through the Scheme within the last two years.
I welcome the Committee’s support for the new Cultural Gifts Scheme (CGS) which will run in parallel with the Acceptance in Lieu scheme and enable owners to donate cultural treasures to the nation within their own lifetime in exchange for tax reductions. The CGS will provide an important boost to cultural philanthropy and, combined with the Acceptance in Lieu scheme and outstanding efforts of all those public funding agencies and individuals who give so generously towards our heritage, will provide a collective legacy for the benefit of us all and generations yet to come.
There are two issues the Committee has drawn to the attention of Government where procedures can be strengthened and which both illustrate the particular challenges in balancing the interests of the nation with the rights of private owners.
The first of these, the Ridley procedure, has indeed worked well over the last twenty years or so but I am persuaded that the overall objective of keeping national treasures within the UK is best served by extending the present five year period to 10 years. The relevant policy has therefore now been changed so that offers from “Ridley purchasers” should usually be accompanied by an undertaking to retain ownership of the object for 10 years.
I am also considering the Committee’s proposals in response to the small number of cases where, following the export-deferral of an item and the expression of interest by a UK purchaser, owners then withdraw their licence application. I recognise that this can be both frustrating and costly to public institutions which have expressed an interest in acquiring the object.
I support the Committee’s proposal that there should be a limit on the extent to which temporary export licences may be extended. We have recently completed a public consultation on this and will be publishing our response shortly.
Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to all those organisations and individuals who have given so generously towards the objects saved. 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.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities
Operation of the Control
The following figures cover the period of this report (1 May 2011 to 30 April 2012).
1 May 2010 – 30 April 2011
1 May 2011 – 30 April 2012
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
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.
*This was previously reported as 32,802 in the 2010-11 report. This was an error and should be 13,493.
Report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
1 May 2011 to 30 April 2012
Rt Hon Maria Miller MPSecretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Women and Equalities
58th Report of the Reviewing Committee
Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
Members of the Committee 2011/12
Lord Inglewood (Chairman)
Professor David Ekserdjian
Ms Philippa Glanville
Mr Johnny Van Haeften (until 2 June 2011)
Mr Aidan Weston-Lewis (from 10 May 2011)
Mr Lowell Libson (from 3 June 2011)
Mr Simon Swynfen Jervis
Dr Catherine Johns
Dr Christopher Wright
Mr Peter Rowlands
Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest
Arts Council England
14 Great Peter Street
A register of interests held by Committee members is posted on Arts Council England’s website: www.artscouncil.org.uk Contents
Part I Reviewing Committee Report for 2011/12 10
Part II Operation of the Control 19
Individual Export Cases
Case 1 A painting by Jean-Antoine Watteau, La Surprise 22
Case 2 A painting by Francesco Guardi, Venice: A View of the Rialto Bridge from the Fondamenta del Carbon 23
Case 3 A North Italian empire athénienne by Luigi Manfredini 24
Case 4 A pair of Italian console tables 25
Case 5 A sculpture by John Nost the Elder, The Crouching Venus 27
Case 6 A painting by Edouard Manet, Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus 28
Case 7 Benjamin Britten’s complete draft score of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra 29
Case 8 An Elizabethan miniature by Isaac Oliver, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton 30
Case 9 and 10 An albumen print, The Beggar Maid and a glass negative, Alice Liddell Wearing
a Garland by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, pseudonym ‘Lewis Carroll’ 31
A History of export controls in the UK 41
B Terms of reference of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects
of Cultural Interest 43
C Membership of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of
Cultural Interest during 2011/12 44
D List of independent assessors who attended meetings during 2011/12 46
E Value of items placed under deferral (2002/03 to 2011/12) 47
i) for which permanent licences were issued and
ii) where items were purchased by UK institutions or individuals
F Items licensed for export after reference to expert advisers for advice as to national importance 48
G Applications considered and deferred on the recommendation of the Reviewing Committee 50
on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, 2002/03 to 2011/12
H Composition of the Advisory Council on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest 51
J Further reading 52
K Membership of the Working Party on Manuscripts, Documents and Archives during 2011/12 52
Plate I La Surprise by Jean-Antoine Watteau
Plate II Venice: A View of the Rialto Bridge from the Fondamenta del Carbon by Francesco Guardi
Plate III A North Italian empire athénienne by Luigi Manfredini
Plate IV A pair of Italian console tables
Plate V The Crouching Venus by John Nost the Elder
Plate VI Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus by Edouard Manet
Plate VII Benjamin Britten’s complete draft score of The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Report for 2011/12
May 2011 to 30 April 2012
History and operation of the export control system
A history of export controls in the UK and a description of current export controls and the operation of the Reviewing Committee are included at Appendix A. The terms of reference of the Reviewing Committee are included at Appendix B.
Committee members, expert advisers, independent assessors and the administration of the system of export control
During the 2011/12 reporting year (up until the end of April 2012) there were three changes of membership. Johnny Van Haeften’s term of appointment expired on 2 June 2011. We should like to record our appreciation for his valuable service over the ten years of his membership. Lowell Libson was appointed to a four year term to take his place with specialist knowledge of the art market and British art of the 17th to 20th centuries. Aidan Weston-Lewis was appointed for a four year period with specialist knowledge of Spanish and Italian art of the 16th and 17th centuries.
A full list of members can be found at the beginning of this report and brief biographies are included at Appendix C.
The Committee would like once more to thank the Secretary of State’s expert advisers and the independent assessors for their vital expertise, time and commitment. 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 Arts Council England 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 concern overall.
In our view there is a continuing problem that there can, on occasion, be some reluctance on the part of the Secretary of State’s expert advisers to refer items that might potentially meet the Waverley criteria to the Committee for consideration. In cases of doubt, expert advisers should always bring such items forward, because it is for the Committee to 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 items. This cannot be known in advance. Expert advisers play a crucial role in ensuring that items potentially of Waverley standard come before the Committee. Our country’s procedures place on committee members the obligation to form a view as to whether they are national treasures.
Philanthropy and aiding acquisitions – Cultural Gifts Scheme
We have, in previous years, called for changes to the tax system. In particular we believe the extension of the existing ‘douceur’ mechanism to all cases where tax might be offset through transferring ownership of a cultural object would be of great benefit to the heritage of the nation.
As we have, in past reports, called for the expansion of schemes that assist with the retention of national treasures within the UK, we note with satisfaction the scheduled introduction of the CGS. The CGS is intended to encourage lifetime giving of cultural objects specifically pre-eminent works of art and other historical objects.
This will complement the extremely successful Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which, for many decades, has allowed the payment of Inheritance Tax by way of offering pre-eminent works from the estates of the deceased. The introduction of this new scheme is a significant development and we reiterate our belief that it has the very real potential to play a major part in securing the nation’s cultural inheritance for the future. Self-evidently, arrangements to encourage lifetime giving of cultural objects, which are well proven to be effective in other countries, must balance the public interest, whilst providing an appropriate level of fiscal recognition of the philanthropists’ generosity. We will closely follow the reception and take up of the scheme.
Proposed cap on charitable giving
In his budget speech the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an intention for 2013 to cap the tax relief available to an individual on charitable giving. We believe this would have had a severe and damaging impact on the ability of the nation to retain national treasures. We wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressing our concern and urging him to reconsider. We are therefore pleased that, following the concerns raised by the sector, the Treasury announced that it no longer intends to introduce such a cap.
The Ridley Procedure
As part of the wider deliberation about general ways in which private purchasers can be involved in the retention of national treasures within the UK, the Committee requested, in the last reporting period, that the Secretary of State consider whether it would be desirable to increase the period of time, currently five years, for which a ‘Ridley’ purchaser gives an undertaking to retain the object within the country. The Secretary of State had agreed to consider the Committee’s request and brought forward proposals to this end. He subsequently approved the extension of this period of time from five to ten years. The Ridley Rules provide an important mechanism to allow a private individual to assist in the implementation of the general public policy that important cultural objects should remain within these shores, while suitably compensating export applicants for any limitation to their rights to the enjoyment of their property. In the last 20 years the Ridley procedure has worked well, but given the period of time since its introduction, it seemed an appropriate moment to look at the detail and ensure that a proper balance was being struck between national interest and private owners’ rights.
Economic context including the adequacy of available funding to retain ‘Waverley’ items in the United Kingdom
In the 2010/11 reporting period seven export deferred items with a value of just under £66 million left the country. Four export deferred items with a value of nearly £4 million were saved for the nation, which represents just five per cent of the total value of those items considered by the Committee. With the trend of buyers appearing to be prepared to pay ever increasing sums of money to purchase the best works of art on the market showing no sign of abating and given the diminishing level of public funding, the Committee is extremely appreciative of external funding provided towards purchasing items placed under deferral. In this light we are glad to record positive discussions about enhanced collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which has introduced a new fast stream funding procedure for time limited purchases.
Discontinuation of ‘starring’ items found to meet the Waverley criteria
The Committee agreed that it would discontinue the practice, introduced in the late 1980s, of ‘starring’ some items it recommended as meeting the Waverley criteria which it also considered supremely important. It noted that in practice the process of starring appeared too frequently and hence, in some people’s eyes, it had tended to undermine the significance of those objects which the Committee found Waverley without being ‘starred’.
The Committee is obviously interested in the system of export control in other countries and in particular in the EU. During the year, the Chairman had the opportunity to learn more about the French system of export control as a result of meeting with senior officials in the Ministry of Culture responsible for the operation of the French export control procedures and the designation of national treasures. It was noted that the French procedures were broadly similar to those in the UK, although there were also differences. Having said that, it was clear a number of similar issues are faced and it is hoped an ongoing link may be established to our mutual benefit.
The practice of withdrawing licence applications, following either a serious expression of interest in purchasing the object or an unconditional offer and of subsequently refusing such offers
It is encouraging that in the current year there were no cases where the applicant withdrew their licence application, following either a serious expression of interest in purchasing the object or an unconditional offer to do so. In last year’s report we stated our serious concern about the practice of a few applicants for export licences, who indicated that they would accept a matching offer at the time of the hearing and subsequently changed their minds. The Committee remains of the opinion that the integrity of the Waverley system depends on those affected by it honouring the obligations to which they have previously agreed, such as a formally declared willingness, both at the Committee’s hearing and in subsequent correspondence, to accept a matching offer from a UK purchaser. We submitted our proposal to the Secretary of State that those who have made a serious expression of interest and raised funds to make a matching offer, only to be thwarted by an owner’s change of heart about agreeing to sell (albeit that they had previously given a written undertaking at the beginning of the second deferral period to this effect), should be compensated for all ‘loss and damage’ they have suffered as a result of relying on the owner’s undertaking, just as if a binding contract to sell were in place. The Department is now in the process of reviewing our proposal.
In our last report we wrote that we had submitted a paper proposing a new policy for temporary licences to the Secretary of State for his consideration. That paper recommended that there should be a proper published policy and that there should be limits on the extent to which temporary licences may be extended. The Department has launched a public consultation on its own revised Temporary Licence Proposals.
Theft of a national treasure
Outside the reporting period the Committee was distressed to hear of the theft of the Wenlock Jug which the Committee had recommended be export deferred in 2005 and which was subsequently purchased by Luton Museum Services. The Committee was gratified to hear of its recovery.
Transfer of the administration of Cultural Property functions from Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to Arts Council England
Arts Council England assumed responsibility for administering a number of cultural property functions from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) on 1 October 2011. We congratulate them on the smooth transfer of work from MLA and applaud their decision to retain the Unit in London given that this is the centre of the art trade and associated bodies and the most convenient place for meetings to be held for all parties.
Additional sources of funding for acquisitions
UK public institutions, regrettably, have very limited acquisition funds. We are extremely grateful, as always, for the external funding provided towards purchasing items placed under deferral as a result of recommendations we have made. The main sources of funding are listed below, and the tables at Appendix G give further details of the funding received for export-deferred items.
Total adjusted for Inflation as per 2011 (£ millions) approximate*
*Figures based on the Bank of England Inflation Calculator for illustrative purposes only: www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/inflation/calculator/index1.htm
NHMF and HLF spend on acquisitions 1996/97 to 2011/12 i) The National Heritage Memorial Fund
The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up under the National Heritage Act 1980 in memory of the people who gave their lives for the UK. Its purpose is to act as a fund of last resort to provide financial assistance towards the acquisition, preservation and maintenance of land, buildings, works of art and other objects which are of outstanding importance to the national heritage and are under threat. The Government increased the NHMF’s grant-in-aid from £2 million in 1997/98 to £5 million in 2001/02 and maintained it at that level until 2006. In 2007/08 the government doubled grant-in-aid to £10 million. In March 2010 it was announced that the budget for 2010/11 would be reduced to £5 million. NHMF will allocate £5 million per year in grant funding from 2011/12 to 2013/14 and use the NHMF endowment fund if necessary for exceptional cases such as the St Cuthbert Gospel.
Unlike previous years, the NHMF was not approached this year to support the acquisition of items that had
been placed under temporary export deferral following recommendations from the Reviewing Committee.
However, the fund is there to support the retention of items in the UK and the NHMF would like to underline
its continuing key role in underpinning other Government mechanisms for securing cultural property at risk of loss to the nation.
A highlight of the year was the purchase by the Bodleian Library of a rare manuscript of an unfinished novel by Jane Austen with an award of £894,700. Entitled The Watsons, the manuscript is thought to be the only surviving original draft of a novel by Austen. Other significant awards this year included the acquisition of Yr Ysgwrn in Snowdonia. This was the home of the Welsh First World War poet Hedd Wynn who was tragically killed at the Battle of Passchendale. It illustrates how the NHMF works in partnership, in this case with Cadw and CyMAL in Wales, to safeguard and maintain public access to heritage. In Scotland the NHMF helped the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds purchase 173 hectares of floodplain on the south-eastern bank of Loch Lomond with an award of £172,000. The land lies within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and is part of a National Nature Reserve. Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery was awarded £93,000 to acquire four 16th century stained glass roundels depicting a popular medieval motif – the Labours of the Months. Leeds Museums and Galleries acquired an Anglo-Saxon gold hoard with an award of £95,000. This acquisition was the NHMF’s only award this year for a find declared as Treasure by the Treasure Valuation Committee.
ii) Heritage Lottery Fund
HLF distributes lottery proceeds that go towards the Heritage Good Cause. Its priorities, at national, regional and local levels, include conservation and enhancement, encouragement to more people to be involved, and making sure that everyone can learn about, have access to, and enjoy their heritage. HLF had £255 million for 2011/12 for projects aimed at preserving and making accessible the nation’s heritage. It is prepared to make grants of up to 95 per cent of the total cost for grants up to £1 million. For larger requests, of over £1 million, applicants are expected to provide 10 per cent of the total costs.
Recently HLF made grants of £3 million to the National Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland for the purchase of Titian’s Diana and Callisto, £107,300 to Kingston University for the purchase of the Iris Murdoch/Philippa Foot series of correspondence and £225,900 for the purchase of the Wickham Market Hoard which is the most complete Iron Age gold coin hoard in the UK.
In 2011/12 HLF contributed funding to the acquisition of two items placed under temporary export deferral following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee. These were the De Lucci pair of console tables, one of which the National Museums Scotland acquired with an HLF award of £125,000 and the purchase of a Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus by Edouard Manet by the Ashmolean Museum with an HLF award of £5.9 million.
In October 2011 HLF changed the acquisitions policy to make it simpler for organisations to acquire portable heritage when they were trying to respond to tight timeframes. Applicants now demonstrate how the acquisition fits with its current and planned activity programmes rather than produce a separate activity plan. HLF has had a number of successful applications since that policy change including the acquisition of a Turner watercolour for Brighton Pavilion and Museums and a set of formerly lost Captain Scott photographs from the 1912 Antarctic expedition for the Scott Polar Institute. This addresses a pressing issue from former years calling for HLF to accommodate the particular circumstances of export deferrals within the application procedure to ensure that institutions that are interested in acquiring export-deferred items are able to make a matching offer within the tight timescales necessary.
It should be noted that the Collecting Cultures programme to develop collections through targeted acquisition continues through to 2013. The initiative supports the strategic development of museum collections, not just with funding for purchases, but also for staff development and public engagement with collections. In 2008 HLF allocated over £3 million for 22 projects under this initiative.
The table and graph on pages 12 and 13 set out the figures for the NHMF’s and HLF’s commitments to acquisitions, including grants awarded for the acquisition of manuscripts and archive material.
iii) The Art Fund
The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art, helping to increase the range and quality of art in public collections across the UK. It helps museums and galleries acquire works of all kinds, from Old Masters to new media, and supports a range of programmes that share and display collections, including ARTIST ROOMS on tour with the Art Fund. Its income is raised from private sources including trusts, foundations, individuals and corporate supporters, as well as the generosity of its 90,000 members and supporters who, through the National Art Pass, enjoy free entry to over 200 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK and 50 per cent off many major exhibitions.
The Art Fund often uses its money as challenge-funding to lead fundraising appeals to save works of art from leaving the country or being taken from public view. In 2011, it led a campaign to help Somerset Museum purchase the Frome Hoard and worked in partnership with the National Maritime Museum to acquire Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle.
Over the past five years the Art Fund has given over £24 million to 227 UK museums to help buy individual works of art, including many export-deferred objects. In 2011/12, the Art Fund contributed £1.1 million to secure two export-deferred items for the nation, including £250,000 towards a pair of Italian console tables, acquired jointly by the National Museums Scotland and the V&A, and £850,000 towards the Ashmolean Museum’s purchase of Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus.
iv) The V&A Purchase Grant Fund
The V&A Purchase Grant Fund assists the purchase of objects costing less than £500,000 for the collections of non-national museums, galleries, specialist libraries and record offices in England and Wales. In 2011/12, it made 107 awards totalling £661,033. Two items which had been placed under temporary export deferral following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee in the previous reporting year fell within the Fund’s remit. The Fund was unable to offer support to the acquisition of the cabinet made for William Beckford for Lansdown Tower, 1831-41, by Bath Preservation Trust due to lack of funds but contributed £20,000 towards the purchase of an Imari Porcelain garniture from Althorp, 1690-1720, acquired by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
The V&A Purchase Grant Fund was not approached to assist with the acquisition of any items placed under temporary export deferral following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee during the period of this report.
The Purchase Grant Fund is always greatly oversubscribed and it is regrettable that its budget, static 1995-2008 at £1 million, was reduced to £900,000 in 2009/10 and to £600,000 for 2011/12 by MLA. Arts Council England has, however, set the budget for 2012/13 at £750,000, a modest but very welcome increase.
v) The National Fund for Acquisitions
The National Fund for Acquisitions (NFA), provided by Scottish Government to the Trustees of National Museums Scotland, contributes towards the acquisition of objects for the collections of museums, galleries, libraries and archives across Scotland. The NFA can help with acquisitions in most collecting areas including objects relating to the arts, literature, history, natural sciences, technology, industry and medicine. In 2011/12 the NFA made 72 payments totalling £142,720 to 33 organisations. As at 31 March 2012 a further 16 awards with a total value of £66,086 had been committed but not yet paid. NFA’s already limited funding suffered a cut of 25 per cent in 2011/12, reducing the grant to only £150,000. Inevitably, the reduction in funding has limited the effectiveness of the fund in supporting collecting in Scotland.
vii) The Acceptance in Lieu scheme
The Acceptance in Lieu scheme enables historically important buildings, pre-eminent works of art and
archives, and those that make a significant contribution to buildings in which they are housed, to become public property so that they are secured for the enjoyment and inspiration of all both now and in the future. In 2011/12
26 cases were completed, ensuring that over £31 million worth of important objects and archives have entered
public collections. The items accepted included a Rubens grisaille oil sketch, The Triumph of Venus, which had
been in a private UK collection since at least the early 18th century; Guercino’s Samian Sibyl which had previously hung in Spencer House during the 18th and 19th centuries and Turner’s Lowther Castle Evening. Nine works by Dame Barbara Hepworth have also been acquired along with a collection of 30 paintings, drawings and etchings by Walter Sickert. In the area of decorative arts a large pair of silver-gilt cups and covers have been acquired which were made from the last Great Seal of England and the first Great Seal of Great Britain. These were commissioned by Lord Cowper who was Lord Chancellor and Keeper of the Great Seal in the reign of Queen Anne. Information on all the works of art and the archives accepted through the scheme in 2011/12 are detailed in the Acceptance in Lieu report, which is available on Arts Council England’s
website at www.artscouncil.org.uk.
viii) Private treaty sales
If a heritage object is sold on the open market, the vendor may be liable to Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax. However, these tax charges are not incurred if an owner sells the object by Private Treaty to a body (eg a museum or gallery) listed under Schedule 3 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984. Qualifying heritage objects include any previously granted conditional exemption or an item which would qualify as of pre-eminent importance. This dispensation was extended in April 2009 to Corporation Tax on companies’ chargeable gains. This is an attractive tax exemption because benefits are shared. The vendor receives the amount that he or she would have received at the agreed market value, net after tax, but also receives a ‘douceur’ (usually 25 per cent) of the tax that would have been chargeable. The purchaser normally pays what would have been paid under normal arrangements, less a proportion of the tax (usually 75 per cent) that would have been chargeable.
Schedule 3 to the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 lists those museums that are able to benefit from a ‘douceur’ when acquiring works of art that are subject to either Inheritance Tax, Capital Gains Tax or Corporation Tax on sale.
Many different branches of art and learning have an interest in the export of cultural objects and all the issues associated with it, as do many different UK institutions. They cannot all be represented on the Reviewing Committee but their knowledge and advice is valuable. The original Waverley Committee therefore recommended the creation of a widely representative Advisory Council, which would meet from time to time, as circumstances might require, to discuss matters of common interest and the operation of the system as a whole. It was envisaged that the Council would advise whether the right standards were being applied to the different categories of objects, as well as enabling institutions, not least provincial ones, and the art trade to make their views known.
Membership of the Council includes the expert advisers (who refer objects to the Committee and are normally appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as ‘champions’ for their retention when the decision on the export licence is deferred), as well as representatives of the institutions seeking to acquire deferred items, of grant-making bodies, of the art trade and of interested associations (see Appendix H for full details).
The Advisory Council is normally convened annually and met most recently on 13 June. The main issue discussed was the integration of the Export Licencing Unit and other Cultural Property functions into Arts Council England. The discussions were followed by presentations from Keith Nichol (Head of Philanthropy and Fundraising, DCMS) and Gerry McQuillan (Senior Adviser, Arts Council England) on the forthcoming CGS and from Sir Paul Ruddock (Philanthropist and Chair of the V&A Board of Trustees) who spoke on philanthropy and fundraising. The Council also considered the draft policy section of the Reviewing Committee’s Annual Report for 2011/12. Its comments have been fully considered and are reflected in this text.
Manuscripts, documents and archives
The Working Party on Manuscripts, Documents and Archives is a sub-committee of the Reviewing Committee. Its terms of reference were revised in 2005 and are as follows:
‘To consider the present arrangements for the export control of manuscripts, documents and archives, and the sources of funds available (to UK institutions) for their acquisition and to make recommendations resulting from this consideration.’
For membership of the Working Party on Manuscripts, Documents and Archives, see Appendix K.
The Working Party usually meets annually, although it may meet more frequently if necessary. It met most recently on 8 May 2012 when it was reported that the Reserved Photocopies of exported manuscripts deposited at the British Library were now indexed on the Library’s new electronic catalogue. As a result, it appeared there had been a significant increase in the use of this material. It was noted that The National Archives (TNA) had taken over the strategic archival responsibilities previously held by the MLA in October 2011.
The Working Party then looked at sources of financial help for the acquisition of manuscripts, documents, and archives. Written reports had been submitted by the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the PRISM Fund, the Friends of the National Libraries, the Secretary of the Acceptance in Lieu Panel and TNA Sales Monitoring Service. HLF and the NHMF had provided details of funding towards archival and manuscript material.
i) The V&A Purchase Grant Fund
During 2011/12, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund considered 21 cases in respect of manuscript material and offered 13 grants totalling £120,332 enabling purchases of over £500,000 to go ahead. The budget was reduced to £600,000 for the fund overall and pressure on resources meant that grants for manuscripts were reduced by a total of £37,668 from the sums requested. Arts Council England has, however, set the budget for 2012/13 at £750,000, a modest but very welcome increase.
ii) The PRISM Fund
The PRISM Fund supports the acquisition and conservation of material relating to all fields of the history of science, technology, industry and medicine. During 2011/12, it was able to make two grants for the acquisition of archival or similar material, totalling £6,542.
iii) The Friends of the National Libraries
The Friends assist various institutions primarily by promoting the acquisition of printed books, manuscripts and records of historical, literary, artistic, architectural and musical interest. The Friends made or committed 22 grants to 21 institutions in 2011, totalling £90,830 from the operating fund and £17,645 from the restricted funds.
iv) The Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund
The Funds made awards for the purchase of archival and manuscript material totalling £1,627,000 in 2011/12.
v) Acceptance in Lieu
The Acceptance in Lieu scheme is also an important means of retaining archival material within the United Kingdom. During 2011/12 the Acceptance in Lieu scheme brought into public ownership four archives. The most significant was the archive of Lord and Lady Mountbatten. Information on all the works of art and the archives accepted through the scheme in 2011/12 are detailed in the Acceptance in Lieu report, which is available on Arts Council England’s website at www.artscouncil.org.uk.
vi) National Archives sales catalogue monitoring service
The sales catalogue monitoring service, among its other functions, notifies repositories when manuscripts and archives become available for acquisition through public sales. This service is greatly valued by repositories. In 2011/12, 76 items were purchased by 36 different repositories as a result of notifications. However there were 27 unsuccessful bids, as repositories were outbid or dealers had already disposed of stock.
The Working Party strongly endorses the work of these funds and this scheme and service and expresses its thanks to the advisers and administrators of all of them, who work hard, often at very short notice, to enable applicants to acquire material. It noted that the national endorsement they provide to local institutions is often as valuable as the financial assistance provided.
The statistics below show the figures for the number of cases from 2002/03 to 2011/12.
Cases considered by the Committee
Cases where a decision on the licence application was deferred
Cases in (3) where items were not licensed for permanent export
Cases where items were not licensed for permanent export as % of (3)
Value (at deferral) of cases in (4) where items were not licensed for permanent export (£m)
Cases in (3) where items were licensed for permanent export
Cases where items were licensed for permanent export as % of (3)
Value of items in (3) (at deferral) licensed for export (£m)
July 2003/April 2004
1 Excludes one case where an item was originally thought to be Waverley but subsequently found to have been imported into the UK within the last 50 years.
2 Excludes one case still under deferral at the time of writing and includes two cases where the licence application was withdrawn during the deferral period.
3 Includes one case where the licence application was refused at the end of the first deferral period because
the owner refused to confirm that they were willing to accept a matching offer from a UK purchaser.
4 Excludes one case which was carried over into 2010/11.
5 Excludes one case which was carried over into 2010/11.
6 Includes one case which was carried over from 2009/10.
7 Includes one case which was carried over from 2009/10.
The statistics below show the figures for the values associated with cases from 2002/03 to 2011/12.
Cases where a decision on the licence application was deferred
Value of items in (2) (£m)
Cases where items were acquired by institutions or individuals in the UK1
Value (at deferral) of items in (4) (£m)
Value of items in (5) as % of (3) (£m)
Cases where the application was refused or withdrawn after the announcement of the Secretary of State’s decision
Value of items in (7) (£m)
July 2003/ April 2004
1 This only includes items purchased by individuals who agreed to guarantee satisfactory public access, conservation and security arrangements.
2 Excludes one case where an item was originally thought to be Waverley but subsequently found to have been imported into the UK within the last 50 years.
3 Excludes one case which was carried over into 2010/11.
4 Includes one case which was carried over from 2009/10.