Beit Appeal Update: Export licence challenge

Beit 2t

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Venus and Jupiter

An Taisce settles export challenge

In June, An Taisce issued a legal challenge alleging that the licence granted by the National Gallery of Ireland to export the Beit paintings for auction was issued unlawfully. Citing an EC council regulation of 2009, An Taisce argued that the Minister for Arts is the only appropriate authority to grant such licences.

The challenge has now been settled with the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht consenting to a court declaration that the Minister was not entitled to delegate to the National Gallery the ministerial power to issue such export licences. The Minister and the NGI have consented that the granting of the export licences was made in excess of the authority of the Gallery under the Documents and Pictures (Regulation of Export) Act 1945.

Update from Trustees

The trustees of the Alfred Beit Foundation met with Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys yesterday to appeal for the restoration of the full tax provision for purchasers of art for donation to the State. Talks continue with a donor over the possible purchase of one or more of the paintings which may then be donated to the National Gallery of Ireland.

“The process to secure tax relief for the purchase of one of the paintings is under way – this will allow the painting to be kept in Ireland and donated to the National Gallery,” Heather Humphreys said in a statement.

The proposed sale has been deferred until December 2015 while the Alfred Beit Foundation explore fundraising possibilities.

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