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Sale of the Madonna of the Pinks'

            The Duke of Northumberland is selling the Raphael painting The Madonna of the Pinks' to the Getty Museum, an art museum in California. The Duke sold the painting for £35 million. The curator for the London National Gallery of Art, Nicholas Penny, was the one who discovered the painting a decade ago in the Northumberland castle. Originally, the National Gallery believed it would be given the first chance to buy the Raphael painting, but the Duke who the painting was discovered under died in 1995. Under the current Duke, the National Gallery was not given a chance to buy the painting.
             The London National Gallery is upset with the Getty Museum for purchasing the painting, feeling it should have been given first chance to keep the work in the United Kingdom instead of it going to the United States. The Getty Museum's methods of purchasing the work are considered unethical and seem to be just one of many instances of such practices by museums and art collectors in the United States. The United States obtained its other Raphael's through the London art market, so the purchasing of this painting upset many because of the continuous removal of major art works from British art collections. Nicholas Penny believes that places such as the Duke's castle are the best place for these art collections in the first place and make some of the best gallery locations.
             In an attempt to give the National Gallery of time to raise enough money to encourage the owner of the Raphael painting The Madonna of the Pinks' to sell it to the Gallery, an export bar was placed on the painting for one month with a potential extension to six months by the Minister of State for the Arts. There is more incentive for the owner of the painting to sell the painting to the National Gallery since the owner would receive more for the painting in the United Kingdom after taxes were collected than would be received by selling it outside of the United Kingdom.

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