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Customs problems stop Royal Academy exhibition

raaThe Royal Academy of Arts was forced to scrap plans for what was intended to be a major exhibition after a customs problem with the exportation of a painting that belonged to the Prince of Liechtenstein.

The museum was scheduled to show the a collection of paintings from Prince Hans-Adam II but after a dispute ensued with Customs and HM Revenue over a painting in the collection by Sanchez Coello the prince decided to drop the entire show.

The dispute was about the painting Infante Don Diego, which the Prince purchased from a collector in Britain back in 2006 in London. After its purchase the UK customs authorities deferred a licence allowing the work to be exported so that an alternate buyer could raise the funds to purchase it so the painting would remain in the UK.

During this process HM Revenue and Customs also launched a formal investigation into several licence applications including the Coello and other items, making it impossible for an export licence to be given until the investigation closes.

A statement by the director of the Prince’s collections Johann Kraftner said that the Prince does not believe it would be proper to go ahead with the collection exhibition until the issue surrounding the Coello painting is closed.

The Royal Academy of Arts also issued a statement that while they are disappointed that after months of planning the exhibition will not be opening, they are already hard at work planning an alternative for next autumn.

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