Bid to stop £10m Turner masterpiece being lost to British public
A £10 million Turner masterpiece may be lost to the British public unless funds can be raised to save it from going overseas.
Arts minister Rebecca Pow has placed a temporary export bar on Joseph Mallord William Turner’s famous work The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne following fears the painting could be exported for sale abroad.
Ms Pow said it would be a “terrible loss to the whole country” if the painting was sent overseas.
Valued at £10 million, the 1842 painting depicts a scene in the Swiss mountains at dawn.
It is the only remaining work from the Rigi series not in a public collection.
Ms Pow said: “Turner is one of Britain’s greatest ever artists and The Dark Rigi is a beautiful and emotive work painted at the pinnacle of his career.
“This work is of national importance and if it were to go abroad it would be a terrible loss to the country.
“I hope that by placing a temporary export bar, we can ensure that funds can be raised to save The Dark Rigi for the nation so it is able to go on public display.”
Ms Pow’s decision follows the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest.
The decision on the export licence applications for the watercolour will be deferred until December 1.
This may be extended until June 1 2020 if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase it is made at the recommended price of £10 million.