A painting by Francis Bacon valued at £9.5m could be sold overseas after a UK export ban ran out on Tuesday.
The painting was twice withdrawn from exhibition
A temporary banning licence for Bacon's Study After Velasquez was granted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in May.
The DCMS hoped the ban would ensure a buyer could be found in the UK for the 1950 artwork.
Bacon believed it had been destroyed and it was only rediscovered after his death in 1992.
Withdrawn from exhibition twice, Bacon sent the work to his art material supplier and later expressed regret at its loss.
The piece was based on the work of Spanish renaissance painter Velasquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X, painted in 1650.
The DCMS's reviewing committee on the export of works of art said Bacon's painting had been recommended for the temporary export ban because of its "outstanding aesthetic quality".
The government recently placed an export ban on The Burgomaster of Delft, by artist Jan Steen, which dates from around 1655 and is owned by a family in Wales.