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The government’s response to the public consultation paper ‘Strengthening the Process for Retaining our National Treasures’ published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 15 December 2018.
This response sets out the government’s assessment of the consultation responses, announces plans to introduce a legally binding mechanism to the export deferral process and sets out how this would work.
The UK is home to a wide variety of exceptional cultural objects: our ‘national treasures’, which enrich the culture, heritage and scholarship of audiences today and will do so for future generations.
We are able to retain many of these amazing objects thanks to the export control system which provides a safety-net: the application for a licence to export provides an opportunity to save our most significant cultural objects from leaving the UK.
This consultation outlines proposals to introduce a legally binding mechanism - often referred to as a ‘binding offers’ mechanism - so that owners of cultural objects found to be national treasures, who have confirmed that they are prepared to sell to a museum or gallery or relevant private purchaser at an agreed fair market price, are legally bound to follow through on their commitment to do so.