Longleat estate clears tax bill with art gifts

The works of art, however, will remain in situ at Longleat.

The deal was just one of 24 revealed by arts minister Estelle Morris yesterday as part of the launch of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council annual report.

The Acceptance in Lieu scheme enables art and antiques owners to offer items to the nation rather than pay inheritance tax.

Heritage objects and land worth £21.7m was saved, and just under £15m of tax was satisfied.

Works that were acquired include two pieces by Constable, Turner’s ‘The Chain Bridge over the River Tees’, and the photographic archive of explorer and traveller Sir Wilfred Thesiger.

‘The government’s Acceptance in Lieu Scheme continues to be a huge success, saving important works of art and other culturally important items for the nation,’ said Morris.

Mark Wood, MLA chairman, said: ‘The range of material that has been saved for the nation this year reflects the enormous diversity of our cultural landscape.’

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