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The acceptance is the one piece of good news for critics of government policy which kept the painting in the country while allowing a pre-eminent collection of other Pre-Raphaelite works, including Millais’s Ferdinand lured by Ariel, to be exported at the request of their owner, Lord Sherfield, to the United States where he lives.

The works never came before the Export Review Committee, which has the remit to advise ministers if it thinks works of art are too important to be allowed out of the country, because they were being dealt with as a collection. The committee only has the power to assess works of art singly.

Although Christie’s and Agnew’s have not confirmed a figure, it is thought that the sale of Mariana satisfies a debt of around £5m.

• Arts Minister Alan Howarth has placed a temporary bar on the export of a painting, La sente du Père Jean, 1885, by Paul Gauguin. The ruling, which provides the last chance to try to keep them in the UK, has been made because the £1.2m painting is significant in understanding Gauguin’s development as an artist. The deferral has been made until June 16.