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Export Licences


Tipu Sultan's gold finial

Export block issued on 18th century Tipu Sultan throne finial despite valuation doubt

16 November 2021

The UK government has issued a temporary export bar for a gold finial that once adorned the throne of Tipu Sultan (1750-99).

DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley's Lover

A dozen ‘national treasures’ saved for the nation after export licence blocks

21 July 2021

A dozen items deemed national treasures were bought by institutions between May 2018 and April 2020 with a value of £7.6m, according to the latest report.

Italy's Ministry of Culture

Italy seeks to open its art market with export threshold changes

28 June 2021

The export of Italian art has become easier following changes made to the country’s cultural laws.

Mantuan roundel

Buyer sought for £20.4m Renaissance roundel to keep it in the UK

03 June 2021

A rare Renaissance roundel has been temporarily blocked from export by the UK government in the hope a buyer in the UK will emerge.

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Roman mosaic to remain in Dorset after fundraising success

22 February 2021

A Roman floor panel sold at auction in 2018 and then to an international buyer will be reunited with two other fragments from the same mosaic after a successful fundraising appeal to keep it in the UK.

Breguet Four Minute Tourbillon watch

Rare George III watch barred from leaving country in hope it can be bought by a UK buyer

03 February 2021

A £2m pocket watch once owned by George III has been temporarily blocked from export to give a UK institution the chance to purchase it.

French export licensing thresholds for cultural goods change

01 February 2021

France has changed its export licensing system for cultural goods, increasing the value thresholds and removing some red tape.

One of 10 rare maps depicting the Spanish Armada

Armada maps saved for the nation after Navy museum secures funding from grants and the public

28 January 2021

A group of hand-drawn Armada maps depicting a key moment in England’s history have been saved after a fundraising campaign by the Royal Navy museum.

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Ivory Cleopatra sculpture blocked from export in hope UK buyer found

22 December 2020

An export block on Death of Cleopatra by Henri de Triqueti, an ivory sculpture with British royal connections, has been announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

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Export licences will go digital in autumn 2021

21 December 2020

Digital export licences will be introduced towards the end of next year in a boost to the UK’s art and antiques sector.

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Nimrod expedition sledge and flag head to UK institutions

21 December 2020

A sledge and flag from the first expedition to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton have been saved for the nation.

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Public cash call to help keep Armada maps in the UK

03 November 2020

The National Museum of the Royal Navy hopes to raise £600,000 to stop the export of a group of hand-drawn Armada maps to an overseas buyer.

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Overseas buyer for Armada maps unless £600,000 is found

20 July 2020

A public campaign to keep rare maps of the Spanish Armada in the country will be needed to raise the required £600,000.

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Rare Spanish Armada maps blocked from export in the hope a UK buyer can pay £600,000 to save them for the nation

13 July 2020

A group of 10 drawings that depict the Elizabethan naval battle have been temporarily prevented from being exported in the hope an institutional buyer can raise funds to keep them in the UK.

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Government issues export bar for Roman marble Celtic hounds in hope of finding UK buyer

08 July 2020

The owner of a pair of Celtic hounds has been temporarily prevented from exporting the sculptures by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Export licensing unit reopens with digital applications

01 June 2020

The Export Licensing Unit (ELU), which closed under the March lockdown, has reopened with a new temporary procedure.

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Export-blocked 18th century harpsichord bought by Gainsborough’s House museum

20 May 2020

A harpsichord that was sold at The Canterbury Auction Galleries in 2018 to a US buyer and later barred from export by the government has been saved for the nation by Gainsborough’s House museum.

BAMF working to tackle backlog over export licences

18 May 2020

The art market is lobbying for the reopening of the Export Licensing Unit (ELU) which closed in March.

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Exports: rising costs and licensing hitch highlight short-term challenges

11 May 2020

International exports are predicted to return to growth following the easing of the lockdown in the UK. However, current art and antiques exports have slowed to a trickle.

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Record-breaking Martin Brothers grinning crab saved for nation heads to Plymouth after export block

19 February 2020

A new museum in Plymouth has acquired a ‘colossal and extraordinary grotesque grinning crab’ by the Martin Brothers after fundraising to keep the sculpture in the UK.