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Second part of £95m Titian pair bought for Britain

01 March '12 by the editors | Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Diana and Callisto goes on show in National Gallery, to be joined by Diana and Actaeon in July, after £45m raised.

Titian's masterpiece Diana and Callisto has been secured for Britain after the National Gallery stumped up £25m from its reserves and the painting's owner dropped the asking price by £5m, it has been announced in London.

It now joins its pair, Diana and Actaeon, in the shared ownership of the National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) without any need for a big public fundraising campaign – something the galleries thought would be a challenge too far in the economic circumstances.

The news was announced in London. The National Gallery's director, Nicholas Penny, said the two Titians had long been regarded as pre-eminent among masterpieces in private hands in the UK. "We have been able to secure both of them for the public, in a period of economic hardship, because of the esteem and affection that both institutions have enjoyed for many decades," he said.

"It is a triumph for us, but also for our predecessors, made possible by today's supporters, but also by benefactors who have long departed."

The two paintings were offered to the nation in 2008 by their owner, the Duke of Sutherland. The asking price was £100m – an enormous sum but by most estimates perhaps half of their market value.

The first painting was secured in 2009, with the biggest sum, £17.1m, coming from the Scottish government and NGS purchase funds. The race then began to raise the next £50m with a deadline of December 2012.

On Thursday it was announced that £45m had been raised and the Duke of Sutherland had reduced the asking price by £5m. A total of £25m came from the National Gallery reserves, mainly money left in wills to the gallery. Then £3m came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £2m from the Art Fund and £15m from various donations and grants, some from individual donors and some from trusts including the Monument Trust and the Rothschild Foundation.


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