UK Museum bid for £11m Bellotto?
February 24 2017
A 'second deferral period' has been triggered in the export licence process for Bernardo Bellotto's 'View of Konigstein from the North' (above). This means that a UK buyer, most likely an institution, is making a serious bid to raise the £11m asking price. The new deadline to raise the funds is 17th August.
Bellotto was commissioned to paint five large-scale pictures of the Konigstein Fortress by Augustus III of Poland. Two - the above picture and also 'View of Konigstein from the South' - were in a UK private collection which in 2014 notified the government of their intention to sell them. I am not sure what has happened to the 'South' picture. But the good news is that the £11m asking price for 'North' will include at least 40% 'off', as the pictures were conditionally exempt from inheritance tax.