Export bar placed on £35m Rembrandt portrait

Painting has been in the UK for more than 250 years
Nicola Sullivan
The government has placed a temporary export bar on a £35m Rembrandt painting.
A statement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet is at risk of being exported from the UK unless a buyer can be found to match the asking price.

The export bar will be in place until 15 February, but may be extended to 15 October if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting is made at the recommended price of £35m plus £660,000 VAT. However, lower offers made by public bodies will also be considered.
The 1657 painting of Hooghsaet, who was wealthy Amsterdam Memmonite, is privately owned and has been in the UK for more than 250 years. It has been on loan and on public display at the Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum of Wales) and the National Trust’s Penrhyn Castle in Bangor, which acquired it in around 1860. It was most recently on display at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Aidan Weston-Lewis, a member of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Arts and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which is administered by Arts Council England, said: “This is an exceptional portrait of a fascinating sitter, about whom there is still much to be discovered.

Its departure abroad would be particularly unfortunate in view of its long presence in the UK, notably in Wales, which currently has no publically-owned painting by Rembrandt.”
Museums Journal has contacted the National Museum of Wales (Amgueddfa Cymru) for a comment and will update this article once a response has been given.

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