Friday, 5 April 2013

Young Apostle Ban

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has finally admitted something I've suspected for some time: that it regards artworks owned by the upper crust as more important to the nation than works held in ignoble hands. To justify its export ban on this magnificent black-chalk cartoon Head of a Young Apostle (1519-1520) by Raphael, it admits to "aesthetic importance and outstanding significance for both the study of Raphael and the history of aristocratic collecting of old master drawing in 18th Century Britain" (CLICK). I have no quibble about saving this wonderful cartoon for the nation, even if it will cost a staggering £29m. The question is: Would Culture Minister Ed Vaizey think it worth saving if it weren't owned by an aristocrat? The honourable nincompoop praises the Ashmolean Museum's purchase of Edouard Manet's Portrait of Mademoiselle Fanny Claus, which certainly wasn't worth saving for the nation (CLICK).


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