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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Thursday, 28 February, 2002, 18:50 GMT
Historic items 'saved for nation'
The Return from War, Mars disarmed by Venues, by Rubens and Jan Brueghel
Artworks are among the items saved
Historic items worth more than 3.2m, including paintings by Rubens and William Blake, have been kept in the UK following export deferral.

The government can save rare items "for the nation" by putting a bar on its removal from the country.

Often a museum or gallery will then step in and buy the item so that it can be kept on public display.

Arts minister Baroness Blackstone said: "It is a credit to the export deferral system that such important items have been saved for the nation.

"The objects cover a whole range of cultural artefacts from letters to prehistoric axe heads.

Guercino's Madonna of the Sparrow
Guercino's Madonna of the Sparrow will stay in the UK
"What is common to all is that they will be publicly accessible providing people now and in the future with the opportunity to enjoy them."

The items include The Return from War, Mars disarmed by Venus by Rubens and Jan Brueghel and Guercino's painting Madonna of the Sparrow.

Letters by author George Eliot and letters by Samuel Coleridge have also been saved.

Other items include a rare Roman sculpture, three English wooden figures from the 15th Century, items of furniture and the personal archive of architect Charles Francis Annesley Voysey.

See also:

07 Mar 02 | Arts
Blackstone heads up UK arts
15 Jan 02 | Arts
Elgin Marbles 'staying' in UK
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