HL Deb 04 December 2001 vol 629 cc127-8WA
Lord Freyberg

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they were consulted over the Royal Armouries' plans to make long-term loans of items from their national collections to a private museum in Louisville, Kentucky, United States; and; (a) whether they can confirm that the Louisville Museum has received a personal commitment to this effect from Her Majesty the Queen, as reported in the American press; (b) whether the loan items bound for the Louisville Museum are from store or are usually on display at its three sites; (c) how many items will be on loan to the Louisville Museum, and how long they will be loaned for; and (d) how much money the Royal Armouries will receive from this loan; and [HL1600]

Whether they are aware of any government-sponsored museums or galleries which are considering entering into arrangements with private institutions either within or outside the United Kingdom similar to the arrangements between the Royal Armouries and the Louisville Museum, Kentucky, United States. [HL1601]

The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Blackstone)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been consulted about the Royal Armouries' plans for an arrangement with the Owsley Brown Frazier Historical Arms Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, involving the long-term loan of items from the Royal Armouries under Section 21 of the National Heritage Act 1983, in exchange for payments.

DCMS has informed the Royal Armouries that we will need to be satisfied that the business case which the armouries is preparing is sound financially and legally before we give approval for the project to proceed.

I can confirm that:

  1. (a) no commitment has been given by Her Majesty the Queen to the Louisville Museum;
  2. (b) it is likely that any loan items would come from the museum's reserve collection; although the armouries has yet to determine this;
  3. (c) the number of loans envisaged by the Royal Armouries is around 350, although this has yet to be determined; and that
  4. (d) the amount of money that the Royal Armouries would receive in respect of the loan has yet to be determined.

I am not aware of any other national museums and galleries sponsored by my department which are considering entering into arrangements similar to those the Royal Armouries propose with the Frazier Historical Arms Museum in Louisville involving the long-term loan of objects from their collections in exchange for payments.