export ban for crosby garrett mask


Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border has called on an immediate ban on the export of the Crosby Garrett Roman mask, which sold today for £2.3 million at auction in Christie’s – almost eight times the estimated price.

Rory’s own personal email and website campaign to constituents and supporters, in an effort to help Tullie House Museum, yielded more donations and pledges from all over the world. These included the donation of an original work by a contemporary Belgian artist, and a substantial monetary pledge from another Cumbrian museum’s Trust. He intends to lobby Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries and a recent visitor to Cumbria, and the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art in order to find a way to keep the rare Roman treasure in the country.

Rory commented: “This was, of course, a huge disappointment for all Cumbrians and the staff and friends of Tullie House Museum especially, who have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds in the past weeks. Cumbrians have shown both their immense generosity and sincere appreciation of this exceptional antiquity, and I know that this is a blow to their hopes to see the helmet installed in Tullie House’s new Roman Frontiers gallery. But we must not be downcast, and look to the bodies that exist to protect finds such as these from leaving the country never to be seen again. We must lobby hard to retain it here – where it has lain undisturbed for 2,000 years – and find time to try and match the price. If anything, today’s result has spurred me on to make this happen, and I will actively work – for as long as it takes – to secure its future here in the UK.”

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