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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 14:22 GMT
'Safety' for 4m art and antiques
Portrait of Richard Arkwright Junior by Joseph Wright
Joseph Wright's portrait of Richard Arkwright Junior was saved
Art and antiques worth 4.2m were saved for the nation by government export bans in 2003, it has been revealed.

Among the items was a 1.2m portrait by Joseph Wright, which was destined to be sold to the US but was bought for a Derby museum after a fundraising drive.

And temporary export bans were put on high-profile works like Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks.

Arts Minister Estelle Morris said she was "delighted" that the value of saved items was almost double that of 2002.

"I find it especially gratifying that some items... have been returned to the regions where they hold a particular significance for local people," she said.

Other items to be saved were a 16th Century incense burner worth 980,000 and a Benjamin West portrait that went on to be sold for 540,000.

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