Tuesday 20 November 2018

Magnier's €18m art may be forced back to the UK

Nick Webb

Racing tycoon John Magnier's €18m Sir Joshua Reynolds masterpiece Omai, which hangs in the National Gallery in Dublin, may have to return to the UK as British culture minister Ed Vaizey refused to sanction a temporary export licence for the painting.

The purchase of the painting for €18m in 2003 led to an almighty kerfuffle.

An export licence was refused, to give the Tate Gallery in London time to raise money to buy the work from its new owner.

However, a deal could not be struck and the painting was given a temporary export licence, which enabled it to be shown at the National Gallery in Dublin, where it has been on public display for nearly six years now.

"Joshua Reynolds's Omai is an outstanding work of art, which has already spent more than five years overseas, and I do not want to see the regime being undermined by repeated use of temporary licences, so I have refused to grant a second licence on this occasion," Mr Vaizey said last week.

A spokeswoman for Coolmore stud owner Mr Magnier declined to comment.

Sunday Indo Business

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