Published  04/03/2003

Raphael removal risk

The Duke of Northumberland's 'Madonna of the Pinks' has been sold and removed from exhibition at the National Gallery to be sent to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles: just one of a continuing series of works lost to the British collections through lack of funds. Michelangelo's, 'Study for the Risen Christ' has been sold to a New York collector, and the great Castle Howard 'Portrait of Omai' by Reynolds seems next on the list for overseas buyers at 10.2 million. But there is hope, under the aegis of Sir John Guinness, chair of the culture ministry's reviewing committee, that enough delaying mechanisms applied might provide the opportunity to reverse the flow.

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