The Great Belzoni’ by Jan Adam Kruseman. © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Cultural Gifts and Acceptance in Lieu schemes secure 42 objects

Miles Rowland, 19.12.2018
Objects worth almost £27m given to public collections this year
A total of 42 items, worth £26.9 million, were given to public collections around the UK under the government's Cultural Gift and Acceptance in Lieu schemes in 2018.

The pieces included two portraits by Lucian Freud that were allocated to Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, 76 ceramic pieces by Pablo Picasso, which were given to New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester, and a portrait (pictured above) believed to be of the Italian strongman and adventurer, the Great Belzoni, who became one of the giants of 19th-century Egyptian archaeology, which is now at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme was founded in 1910 and allows donors to offset their inheritance tax liabilities by leaving objects of cultural, historical or artistic significance to the public.

The Cultural Gifts scheme, introduced in 2013, offers a tax reduction to people who donate a pre-eminent work of art or object to a public collection during their lifetime.

Under the scheme, 30% of the agreed value of the object can be set against the donor's income or capital gains tax. Companies are given a relief of 20% of agreed value to offset against corporation tax.

Arts Council England (ACE) administers both schemes. The tax settlement value of the donations was £17.4m this year.

ACE chair Nicholas Serota said the items saved in the past year "will make a significant contribution to the nation's collections and, in turn, the development and prosperity of the communities that the recipient organisations serve".

He added: "Acquisitions are a source of celebration, inspiration and a focus for us as communities, underlining the value of arts and culture in people's lives."

The value of items saved in the past year was the lowest since 2011 under the schemes. In 2017, items worth £39.4m were saved, with a resulting tax settlement of £25m.

Edward Harley, the chair of the Acceptance in Lieu panel, said: "The variety of objects remains as diverse as ever and it is particularly exciting that the number of institutions receiving items through the schemes for the first time continues to grow."

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