Minister bans export of £30m Turner painting

THE GOVERNMENT has stepped in to stop a Turner masterpiece that sold for almost £30 million earlier this year being shipped overseas.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey placed the temporary export ban on JMW Turner's Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino yesterday as campaigners try to raise the money to keep it in the country.

The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest said it is of "outstanding aesthetic importance". Chairman Lord Inglewood said: "If one needed evidence of Turner's greatness as an artist, this is it. Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino is an astonishingly beautiful painting that underlines Turner's thoughts and experiences of Rome, and in turn it has played a fundamental part in forming our perception of Turner and his work."

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The oil painting shows a panoramic view of Rome and was painted in 1839, ten years after Turner's second and last visit to the city.

It has only had two private owners since then and was until recently on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland.