Ed Vaizey, the Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, has confirmed that the Government has placed a temporary export bar on nine sixteenth portraits.
The portraits are of the Smythe family and they are the oldest remaining set of family portrait paintings, other than Monarchs and Nobility, in the country.
In a statement Vaizey said:
“This is the earliest surviving set of 16th century English family portraits and reflects the influence that foreign artists have had on our nation’s capital for centuries. I hope that they are saved for our public to enjoy for years to come”.