The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art & Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) helps to advise DCMS on the export of cultural objects.
When the Committee finds that an object is of national importance, it usually recommends that export be deferred so that a fair offer can be made for it from the UK.
As well as advising on cases where special Exchequer grants are needed to purchase objects that would otherwise be exported, it also advises on, and supervises, the operation of export systems.
How does it work?
Administered by The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council the Committee is an independent body made up of eight permanent expert members in the fields of paintings, decorative arts, manuscripts and archaeology, amongst others.
The status of each object up for export is judged against the “Waverley Criteria” to ensure an objective assessment, each case also benefits from the advice of a further three independent assessors, usually experts in the relevant field.
You can read more about RCEWA, the Waverley Criteria and previous case hearings on the The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council website.
Value for money – the Quinquennial Review
The performance, role, functions and effectiveness of The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art & Objects of Cultural Interest were examined in 2003.
The DCMS report on the Committee found that not only was it fulfilling its objectives but that it provided value for money and there was widespread support for the continuation of its work.
The department accepted and responded to most of the recommendations in a follow up report.
You can read both the Quinquennial Review of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and the Response to the Quinquennial Review of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art on this website.