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Beit paintings case is now settled
28 Jul 2015 17:05
Arts Minister Heather Humphries has said she has taken action to address legal issues surrounding the issue of export licences for works of art.
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Earlier, her department settled a case taken by An Taisce, which had alleged the licences were unlawfully issued by the National Gallery of Ireland.
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An Taisce took the action following the decision by the Alfred Beit Foundation to sell a number of paintings to raise funds for Russborough House, Co. Wicklow.
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It had claimed that a number of valuable paintings from Russborough House were unlawfully exported out of Ireland and had brought judicial review proceedings against the Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland and the Minister.
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Minister Humphries said the power to issue licences was originally delegated to the National Gallery in 1985 by the then minister for arts by way of a letter.
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Trustees of the Alfred Beit Foundation are due to meet the Minister tomorrow to discuss the ongoing funding crisis at Russborough House.
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The Foundation has said it needs €15 million to set up a Russborough House endowment fund.
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A private donor is considering purchasing a number of the works to allow them to remain on display in the country.
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However, it is thought that even if that sale goes ahead, it will not raise the €15 million the Foundation says it needs.
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