JMW Turner’s 'The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne' (1842) could leave the UK unless £10m can be raised.

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Turner Rigi work could leave the UK

A JMW Turner landscape valued at £10m will be exported overseas unless funding can be raised to keep it in the UK.

The current owner of The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne, painted in 1842, bought it in 2006 and recently an export licence has been applied for.

In 1802 Turner made the first of many visits to Europe during which he completed numerous preparatory sketches. The watercolour at risk of export was completed following Turner’s 1841 visit to Switzerland where he completed a number of studies of the Rigi mountain, and is part of a trio of famous works: The Red, The Blue and The Dark Rigi.

The decision on the export licence applications for the watercolour will be deferred until December 1 and could be extended until June 1, 2020, if a serious intention to raise funds is made.

Turner left behind more than 30,000 works on paper, 550 oil paintings and 2000 watercolours when he died. The work at risk of export is the only remaining work from the Rigi series not in a public collection. A number of Turner pictures have been barred from export to keep them in the UK. In 2007 Tate managed to raise £5m to purchase The Blue Rigi, Sunrise (1842).

NAVA autumn forum announced

The annual NAVA Propertymark Autumn Forum will take place this year on October 10 in Droitwich, Worcestershire.

Attendees will hear from firearms specialist Bill Harriman on the latest firearms laws and Mark Hayward, NAEA Propertymark chief executive, on anti-money laundering laws.

The event will also host the novice auctioneer of the year competition, co-sponsored by ATG parent Auction Technology Group.

The competition involves novice property, chattels and livestock auctioneers hosting a sale in front of a panel of judges and an audience of experienced auctioneers playing the role of bidders.

Cultural goods crackdown

A multi-national police crackdown on illicit cultural goods led to the arrest of 59 people and the seizure of more than 18,000 items.

Police authorities from 29 countries joined forces to launch the operation that was coordinated by the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) and supported by Europol, Interpol and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The operation, named Pandora III, began last year and investigated the trafficking of cultural goods and focused on online sales made by criminal groups. According to the recently published joint statement from Interpol, the 18,000 items seized included archaeological items, furniture, coins, paintings, musical instruments and sculptures.

Morris/Bauhaus exhibition appeal

An exhibition exploring links between William Morris and Bauhaus, two of the major names in the last 150 years of design, is set to launch in London provided enough money is raised.

Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery launched a 30-day crowdfunding campaign on July 25 in a bid for the final £15,000 needed to stage Pioneers: William Morris and the Bauhaus. It is planned for October, coinciding with the Bauhaus centenary.

The fundraising campaign is accessible on the Art Fund’s Art Happens site.

FBI and Christie’s return looted vases

The FBI’s art crime team and auction house Christie’s have returned a pair of Louis XVI bronze vases valued at $120,000 that were stolen by the Nazis to the heirs of the original Jewish owners.

They were consigned to Christie’s New York by an unnamed source but it was discovered through the due diligence process, which included checking lost art databases, that the pieces were part of the unrestituted property that had belonged to Lucie Mayer-Fuld in the 1930s.


One of a pair of Louis XVI vases looted by the Nazis and now returned by the FBI to the original owners.

They had previously surfaced in London at an auction in 1997, and then again in another auction in 2000. When asked by ATG, the FBI would not release any details about these earlier auctions nor say whether they were sold or withdrawn but did confirm that they were in a private collection in the US before being consigned to Christie’s.

Christie’s worked together with the FBI to secure the return of the vases.

New high as gold soars even further

The price of gold reached an all-time high at the end of last week as the spot-rate continued to rise above the record levels set the week before.

Gold has risen by 25% over the last three months, while silver also reached a 12-month high last week.

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The multiple of the high estimate of £150 that a 11in (27cm) high Chinese vase sold for at Diamond Mills in Felixstowe.