Art gifts

UK government receives record art donations of £ 65million instead of inheritance tax


A sunny Pissarro painting, a Queen Anne wine cistern and six Rembrandt prints are all gifts that have been given to UK public collections this year under the In lieu of Acceptance Tax (AIL) scheme. from the government, which brought in a record £ 65million. in 2020 according to a report by the Arts Council of England.

The AIL allows the cancellation of inheritance tax debts in exchange for the acquisition of objects of national importance. His younger brother, the Cultural Gifts Scheme, also included in the report, allows donors to donate works during their lifetime in exchange for tax benefits.

A panel of experts determines the value of each work and attributes it to a public institution. This year, a Paul Gauguin manuscript was donated to the Courtauld Institute in London to cover £ 6.5million in inheritance tax, becoming the artist’s only major manuscript in a UK collection.

Regional museums also benefit from the system. This year, two-thirds of the stipends went to institutions outside London, including a series of photos of Leonard Rosoman depicting the first gay kiss and drag ball in British theater, donated by the estate of his widow, Roxanne Wruble Rosoman, in Pallant. House Gallery, Chichester, instead of £ 96,600. A set of prints by Russian constructivist artist Naum Gabo has been allocated to the Pier Arts Center in Orkney.

“The next few years are going to be a difficult time for the cultural sector and private benefit will be especially important if our world-class museums, galleries, libraries and archives are to survive,” said Arts Council England Chairman Nicholas Serota , in a statement.

Throughout the report, the dramatic impact on national museums due to the Covid-19 crisis has been referenced, and in particular in relation to the renewed importance of national collections. AIL panel chair Edward Harley said: “As museums, galleries and libraries begin to welcome visitors again, we are likely to see a shift away from the big, successful traveling shows and a refocus on the big ones. public collections nationwide, celebrating and re-examining the many treasures entrusted to us over the years. The AIL and CGS programs are going to be more important than ever. “


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