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Loans out policy

Loans out policy 2013

1.    Background

1.1.    This policy covers the loan of all paintings and any other objects from the National Gallery for any period of time, other than for conservation or study purposes.

1.2.    Under the Museums and Galleries Act 1992 the following powers are vested in the Trustees:

'5.(1) The National Gallery Board… may lend any relevant object the property in which is vested in the Board and which is comprised in the Board's collection (whether the loan is for purposes of public exhibition or not and whether, under the terms of the loan, the relevant object is to remain in the United Kingdom or not) but the power conferred by this subsection is subject to the requirements of subsection (2) below.

(2) In deciding whether or not to lend a relevant object, and in determining the time for which, and the conditions subject to which, a relevant object is to be lent, a Board mentioned in subsection (1) above—

(a) shall give special consideration to a request for the loan of a relevant object for public exhibition; and

(b) subject to that, shall have regard to the interests of students and other persons visiting the Board's collection, the suitability of the prospective borrower, the purpose of the loan, the physical condition and degree of rarity of the relevant object, and any risks to which it is likely to be exposed.'

1.3.    This policy should be read in conjunction with the Gallery’s risk statement concerning the avoidance of risk in managing loans from the collection.

2.    Principles

2.1.    The National Gallery makes loans for the following reasons:

2.1.1.    To widen national and international access to the collection
2.1.2.    To increase knowledge about the collection
2.1.3.    To support the strategic objectives of the National Gallery, including mounting major loan exhibitions
2.1.4.    To increase national and international co-operation

2.2.    Visitors to the National Gallery expect to see our best-known masterpieces on display and the Gallery aims as far as possible to present a coherent narrative of Western European art, therefore in considering requests for loans from the Collection the following applies:

2.2.1. special attention will be paid to avoiding the loan of paintings which have been deemed by the Director and trustees to be of particular importance, including those of greatest historical significance and those of most importance to the Gallery’s visitors.

2.2.2. a painting which has been lent to an institution outside the UK within the past three years will only be lent again within this period in exceptional circumstances (but this does not apply to paintings loaned to UK institutions).

2.3.    Loans will not be made in circumstances which might damage the Gallery’s standing and reputation.

2.4.    Borrowers should be able to make a coherent and cogent case for the loan.

2.5.    The Gallery will not lend to any exhibitions which include objects known to have been stolen, illegally exported or illegally excavated.

2.6.    The Gallery will only lend to venues which can fulfil the Gallery’s rules for borrowers and usually only to venues which are open to the public.

2.7.    The Gallery will not lend any picture or other item if movements in the course of loan or any other aspect of the loan will provide an unacceptable risk to its physical condition and will only lend if there is substantial assurance that the picture or other item will be returned to the Gallery at the end of the loan period.

2.8.    Decisions to lend are taken by the Board, acting on the recommendation of the Director and Curators.