Our best source of acquisitions - death

December 19 2011

Image of Our best source of acquisitions - death

Picture: National Gallery

Details of this year's Acceptance-in-Lieu scheme have been released. Almost £20m worth of cultural treasures, including the above Rubens sketch The Triumph of Venus (at £4.4m), have been accepted by the UK government in place of inheritance tax. Invitations to be allocated the Rubens are now being sought. So if you've got a Rubens hole in your museum collection, apply now.

I've always found it curious that the government will automatically acquire a pre-eminent work of art for the nation if it comes from someone who's dead, but not if they are alive. But there it is. To see some of the other works acquired this way, click here

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