Keep collecting for our museums
READERS of COUNTRY LIFE will have felt a sense of déjà vu when the Minister for Culture, Matt Hancock, announced two weeks ago that he was delaying the grant of an export licence for two ravishing works of Mughal art, a rare 17th-century jadeand-gold flask decorated with emeralds and rubies and an 18th-century enamel, ruby and sapphire huqqa pipe. Once in the collection of Clive of India, they have been purchased for the Qatar Museum of Islamic Art. Museums or individuals in this country have until April 17 (for the huqqa) and May 17 (for the flask) to raise funds to acquire the pieces—£6 million for the flask and £240,000 for the huqqa.
We’ve been here before: the Qataris bought both items at Christie’s in 2004