§ Lord HALE
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the existing provisions for the care, cataloguing, preservation and protection of works of art in the reserve stocks of museums and art galleries to which the public have access are regarded as adequate and whether they are aware of some difficulty in locating works of art long withdrawn from exhibition.
§ Lord DONALDSON of KINGSBRIDGE
The Government's direct responsibility for the security and care of reserve collections is limited to the national museums and galleries. Collections in other museums are the responsibility of their trustees or administering authorities. Local museums can however call upon the curatorial resources of Area Museum 1729WA Councils, who this year received a grant of £770,000 from the Exchequer. In the national institutions priority is given to the matters to which the noble Lord refers. I am not aware of any difficulty in locating works of art in the national reserve collections, but no doubt from time to time difficulty could arise. If the noble Lord is aware of a problem of this kind, perhaps he will give me details so that I may look into the matter.