The BBC News has the details behind the game of chicken being played by the Prince of Lichtenstein over an Old Master painting that the UK government doesn’t seem to want to grant an export license for. In response, the prince has pulled out of a show at London’s Royal Academy:
The dispute centres around Spanish Renaissance painting The Infante Don Diego by Sanchez Coello, which was bought by the prince from a British collector through a London dealer in 2006. In 2007, the UK authorities deferred a licence to export the work in order to allow time for an alternative buyer to raise the necessary funds to keep it in the country. HM Revenue and Customs also launched an investigation into the licence applications for the group of paintings that included the Coello.
An export licence will not be considered until the investigation is concluded. The painting was returned to the prince’s collection last month, despite still being barred from leaving the UK. Johann Kraftner, director of the Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein, at the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna, said neither the prince nor the collection were in any way involved in the investigation. He added: “The prince does not think it is appropriate to proceed with the planned exhibition until the matter of a painting by Sanchez Coello is resolved. “When that happens we will reconsider the idea of a show at the Royal Academy at some future date.”
Art Row Hits Royal Academy Show (BBC News)