100 Years of Saving Our Heritage for the Nation - Margaret Hodge hails AIL Scheme and unveils latest acquisition

31 March 2010

An exquisite bronze statue of a dancer by the acclaimed impressionist Edgar Degas today became the latest item to be saved for the nation under the Government’s Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) Scheme, administered by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) which celebrates its centenary this year.

The statue settles a tax bill of £175,000, with Culture Minister Margaret Hodge hailing the scheme as a “win-win-win that benefits the public, owners, and the Government alike”.

Margaret Hodge said:

“The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme has been saving beautiful works of art and precious items from our heritage for 100 years.  Pictures by Michelangelo, Picasso and Titian; Drake’s drum, steamboats from Lake Windermere and even the breathtaking landscape of Snowdonia have all passed into public ownership, thanks to the scheme.  So this elegant bronze is just the latest in a very long line of items that many generations to come will be able to marvel at, appreciate and learn from.”

The AIL Scheme allows items of great historical or cultural importance to be given to the nation in place of inheritance tax.

Margaret Hodge continued:

“The AIL Scheme is a classic win-win-win.  The owner doesn’t need to find the cash to pay their tax bill, the Government is able to take fabulous works of art and heritage items into permanent public ownership at a fair, and the taxpayer knows that the things saved will remain where they belong, in this country on public show, for all time.

“Last year, for example, the Scheme settled around £11 million worth of tax which led to items with a value of around £20 million entering public collections throughout the UK – this is a brilliant success story, and one that we all should celebrate”


Notes to Editors

More detail about the AIL Scheme and how it works can be obtained from the MLA. Please contact:

Katy McMullen
Press and Campaign Manager
T: 0207 273 1406 or E: katy.mcmullen@mla.gov.uk


  1. Contents of Petworth House including Turners painted of the house. Accepted 1956/57

  2. Contents of Knole, including the Silver Furniture.  Accepted 1966/67

  3. Michelangelo Drawing The Dream, currently the subject of an exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery (its permanent home). Accepted 1981/82

  4. Papers of the Hambledon Cricket Club (where the rules of Cricket were first laid down)1. Accepted 1991/92

  5. Drake’s Drum and/or  Banners both now at Buckland Abbey, Drake’s home 2.  Accepted 1968/69

  6. The Steamboat Collection on Lake Windermere.  Accepted 2006/07

  7. The Duke of Wellington’s papers, allocated to Southampton University.  Accepted 1978/79

  8. Houghton Furniture Lord Cholmondeley (largest ever acceptance of items staying in situ at Houghton Hall). Accepted 2001/02

  9. Bronze head of Apollo, now at the British Museum: the 'Chatsworth Head'3.  Accepted 1957/58

  10. Elephant Armour from Powys set up in the Royal Armouries (Leeds) 4. Accepted 1962/63

  11. Picasso Weeping Woman,  Tate Modern.  Accepted 1987/88

  12. Barbara Hepworth sculptures at: Tate St Ives, Fitzwilliam, Edinburgh, Wakefield, Snape  Various acceptances 1977/78; 80/81; 84/85; 92/93; 2000/01; 02/03 and 05/06

  13. David Hockney Two pictures allocated to Tate, also been on show in Nottingham.   Accepted 2008/09

  14. Ormonde silver, allocated to nine museums around the country5.  Accepted 1979/80

  15. Van Dyck: Portrait of the Abbé Scaglia National Gallery.  Accepted 1999

  16. Cimabue:  Madonna and Child Enthroned with Two Angels also at the National Gallery. Accepted in 2000/01. 

  17. Photographic Archive: Wilfred Thesiger , explorer and travel writer. It is also his centenary in 2010. In Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford.  Accepted in 2003/04

  18. TORRIDON.  This is 14,100 acres of land, in north-west Scotland accepted in 1969 and transferred to the National Trust for Scotland.  6 Accepted in 1967/68   

  19. Titian Venus Anadyomene and allocated to the National Galleries of Scotland. 7 Accepted in 2002/03

  20. Penrhyn Estate  and Castle including Snowdonia. The Castle, the immediate grounds (47 acres) and the estate (40,571 areas, including Snowdonia, Wales highest peak) were accepted in 1951/52. The Castle is an early Victorian fantasy of what a great Norman stronghold would have looked like and was designed by Thomas Hooper who also designed much of the furniture.

    Since then there have been four other acceptances of various groups of the contents of the Castle in 1960/61; 2002/03; 2003/04; 2005/06 and 2008/09. All but the last were allocated to The National Trust. The 2008/09 consisted of archival material and final allocation has to be decided.  



1 Hambledon Cricket Club, formed about 1750, has been described as ‘the birth place’ or ‘cradle’ of English cricket, and internationally important records relating to it are found in three collections in Hampshire Record Office.

2 Both were accepted in lieu; the Drum in 1968, after threat of sale abroad. Ownership passed to the City of Plymouth but the drum is on permanent loan to the National Trust at Buckland. The banners which are said to have been with Drake on The Golden Hind were accepted in 1954/5 and now belong to the NT and also on show at Buckland

3 Details are on the British Museum’s website.

4 Brought back by Clive of India. The largest animal armour in the world

5 Belfast Ulster Museum, Birmingham, Bowes Museum, Brighton, Chester (Grosvenor Gallery), Doncaster, Fitzwilliam Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum.

6 Some details and images are on the NTS website. The NTS description starts “With some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Scotland, Torridon is a magnet for walkers, geologists and naturalists. The estate takes in Liathach, 1,054m (3,456ft) and Beinn Alligin, 985m (3,230ft), composed mainly of Torridonian sandstone dating back 750 million years”

7 This had a very large hybrid element :
AIL element                    £2.4m
HLF                                £7.6m
Scots Gov                       £2.5m
NACF (“The Art Fund”) £0.5m              

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