Picasso Export Ban Last Chance To Save Priceless Masterpiece

An Important 1901 Blue Period Picasso painting has had a temporary export ban slapped on it, in an attempt to save it for the nation. The painting ‘Child With A Dove’ was created by the master, when he was only  nineteen years old. It is valued at fifty million pounds. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey put the bar in place, in the hope that money can be raised to buy the painting back. The export ban will remain in place until December, which offers a last chance to keep the painting in the UK.

The work, which has been on public display at the National Gallery,London and the National Galleries of Scotland has been in Britain since the 1970s. Last year it went on display at the Courtauld Gallery in London. It was sold privately this year to an unknown foreign buyer. The painting was sold by the auctioneers Christies on behalf of the Aberconway family of Wales. The painting was originally acquired in 1924 by a Mrs RA Workman,who sold it to the prominent art collector Samuel Courtauld. He later bequeathed it to Lady Aberconway in 1947.

Mr Vaizey’s ruling follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, administered by Arts Council England. The Committee recommended that the export decision be deferred on the grounds that the painting was closely tied to the UK’s history and national life. It is also considered to be of outstanding aesthetic importance and highly pertinent to the study of Picasso’s early works and his artistic development.

The export licence application will be deferred until 16 December 2012, when a decision will be made if the funds are forthcoming. A further deferral will be made until 16 June 2013, If a serious purchaser comes forward.

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