The Townley Collection lies at the heart of the British Museum's sculpture gathered on the Grand Tour. It was announced today that a portrait of Charles Townley (1737-1805) by Joseph Nollekens has had a temporary export ban placed on it by the UK Minister for Culture, Media and Sport (see press release).
The portrait was on loan to the Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley, Lancashire (1926-2007). A sum of £308,750 (excluding VAT) is required to "save" the piece from export. The statement adds, "every possible effort should be made to raise enough money to keep it in the country".