17th century lute music manuscript banned from leaving UK
Earlier this month, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport issued a temporary ban on the export of an early 17th century musical manuscript. Worth an estimated value of over £200,000, the beautifully bound manuscript is “one of the most extensive and important sources of lute music” and contains 89 previously unknown pieces, according to the agency.
Although the anthology has been in England for around 100 years, it is an important example of pan-European cultural exchange. The volume is originally from southern Germany or Austria, has spent time in collections in Zurich and Berlin, and contains English, Italian, and French music. It was recently part of the music collection of instrument maker Arnold Dolmetsch (1858-1940).
The bar allows time for a British buyer to come forward. If none arrives before June 13 and no extension is requested, the manuscript can be sold abroad.
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay commented: “Lute music is a vital part of our artistic heritage and this anthology can teach us much…I hope a buyer will come forward to save the piece for the nation.
In recent years, the UK has banned the export of Charles Dickens’ Table, a 15th century manuscript, and some albums by John Gould.