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Written Answers. - Donation of Paintings.

Tuesday, 8 October 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 469 No. 5

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 45. Mr. Callely Information on Ivor Callely Zoom on Ivor Callely  asked the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  the progress, if any, which has been made towards introducing a formal mechanism to encourage people to donate paintings and works of art to the country since this matter was last raised by Deputy Callely; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17461/96]

Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht (Mr. M. Higgins): Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins The Deputy will be aware from my replies to previous parliamentary questions in this matter that I have long been in favour of the introduction of a formal scheme to encourage people to donate paintings and works of art to the State.

Provision was included in the Finance Act, 1995, for a scheme under which tax [1483] relief would be given for the donation to national collections of pre-eminent heritage items up to a total limit of £500,000 in any one year. This limit was increased to £750,000 in the Finance Act, 1996. Under this scheme an independent assessment committee, comprising the directors of the National Library, Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Museum, National Archives, National Gallery as well as the Director of the Arts Council and the Chairperson of the Heritage Council, was established to decide whether an object would qualify for tax relief. These donations must comprise an archaeological item, archive, book, record, manuscript or painting (or collection of these) valued at more than £75,000 which is deemed by the committee to be pre-eminent in its class.

This committee has already processed successfully a number of cases with substantial donations to our national cultural institutions being realised as a result.

As required by the Finance Act, 1995, the outcome of applications made to the committee has been detailed in the Revenue Commissioners report for 1995 and details of future applications will be published in future reports of the Commissioners.


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