Debate Magazine

"Export Ban to Stop £10m JMW Turner Painting Leaving UK"

Posted on the 05 August 2019 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC:
A temporary export bar has been placed on a £10m painting by one of the UK's most celebrated artists, JMW Turner. The masterpiece, The Dark Rigi, the Lake of Lucerne, depicts a scene in the Swiss mountains - but there are fears it could be exported for sale abroad.
Arts minister Rebecca Pow said it would be a "terrible loss to the whole country" if the painting went overseas. The export ban runs until 1 December, in the hope the money can be raised to buy it and keep it in the UK.

Why? Why is this any of the government's business? Why is this considered A Good Thing?
While Turner is indisputably one of the greats, I'd never heard of this particular painting, and I guess most people hadn't, ergo it would be no loss to most of us whatsoever. As long as somebody, somewhere is enjoying it, so be it.
The logical conclusion of this would be that British galleries would send back all paintings by French artists to France, by German artists to Germany etc and only display paintings by British artists. Which I think would make visiting galleries anywhere a lot less interesting. Ergo, this would be A Bad Thing. Is it not vastly preferable for each of the main galleries in every country to show paintings by artists from around the world?

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