Denied! An export ban may keep a 150-year-old photo in the UK

An application to take a photograph out of the United Kingdom has been denied in a rare move by Culture Secretary Margaret Hodge.

The item in question is not a snap taken by a tourist on holiday, but a Roger Fenton work taken in 1858 as part of a series of 50 Orientalist photos, inspired by his expedition to the Crimea.

Fenton is most famous as a war photographer, documenting the Crimean War.

Roger Fenton photograph Pasha and Bayadere
Roger Fenton photograph Pasha and Bayadere

This piece, entitled Pasha and Bayadère, shows a Turkish official watching a dancing girl (or bayadère). It is one of only two copies know to exist, the other being held in the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Now valued at £108,506, the work has been deemed too valuable to leave the country, though the export is initially only deferred until May 1. This could be extended to August 1 if credible intention of an intention to buy is shown by an institution.

 

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