Saturday, 14 April 2018

Heritage lesson from Paul Rubens' 'Head of African Man' temporary export ban from U.K

Head of an African Man Wearing a Turban, in 1609. 
Between monetary value  and heritage pride, the U.K,  appears to have placed a Peter Paul Rubens painting of an African portrait in the balance of either. Shipping out or not will depend on someone coughing out some millions of pounds to keep the painting in the U.K.
Rubens, (Flemish, 1577–1640) painted Head of an African Man Wearing a Turban, in 1609. According to agency reports, the painting has been placed on temporary bar for export. To keep it away from being exported, someone needs to pay as much as £7,695,860.
 What is playing out as regards the Rubens painting offers a lesson
in how to keep a country's art at home, except the price is worth losing such heritage. In most African countries, best of modern and contemporary art are daily being exported without regulations. In fact, Nigeria, a country with a growing army of abundant contemporary artists is among such losers.
 "Rubens was one of the great artists of the golden age of painting. This powerful sketch is not only a stunning example of his work but hugely important as a rare representation of an African man in Europe at this time. I hope that a buyer can be found so that this outstanding item can be kept in the UK for future generations to enjoy", the U.K's Arts Minister, Michael Ellis said.
 A leading art medium, Artlyst reports that the paper work, which has been in the UK for more than 100 years, is painted on a list of accounts written in Italian. Artlyst notes that  experts believe The painting may have been completed in Italy and brought back to Antwerp.
  In its report, The Guardian says the decision on the export licence application has been deferred until 5 July, but adds that The date could be pushed back to 5 January 2019 if there is a serious pledge to raise the money for the asking price.
 The newspaper hopes that the painting may end up in a public collection to help bolster a sense of shared history and heritage and to serve a more diverse audience.
 - African Arts with Taj and agency reports.

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