§ Mr. Whitaker
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether his Department or the Arts Council will provide expert assistance to help restore works of art in northern Italy damaged by the recent floods.
§ Miss Jennie Lee
I have taken a close personal interest in the assistance that we can provide, both as urgent first aid and on a longer term basis, and my hon. Friend will know of the Committee that was established last Wednesday under the chairmanship of Sir Ashley Clarke to act as a channel for assistance. An appeal for immediate financial aid has also been launched.
The Director-designate of the Victoria and Albert Museum has left for Italy to report on the type of expert assistance that can best be provided. Meanwhile urgent supplies to help to reduce the damage suffered by these art treasures are already on their way. There will be no delay in providing all the assistance we can.