The Getty Museum is celebrating the arrival of its Turner that finally got an export license. The good burghers of Qatar didn’t have quite the same luck with their 2009 purchase from Britain that Georgina Adam says is still in Britain and likely to be the subject of a long stalemate:
William Hoare’s 1773 portrait of a freed Muslim slave, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, […] the QMA bought for £555,000 at Christie’s in 2009. An export licence was deferred and the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) managed to raise this sum last year. Generally, the buyer gracefully agrees to relinquish its prize but in this case QMA withdrew its application for export and refused to sell: it can reapply in 10 years’ time. In the meantime it is loaning the portrait to the NPG.
This is by no means the only example of buyers refusing to sell when British institutions manage to match the price. Stephen Deuchar, director of The Art Fund, has called for tightening up of the rules, for example by making buyers sign an agreement to accept a matching offer.
The Art Market: A Gulf Opens Up (Financial Times)