HL Deb 30 November 2004 vol 667 cc22-3WS
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey)

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Arts (Estelle Morris) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The provision for the government indemnity scheme is made by the National Heritage Act 1980. The scheme facilitates public access to loans of works of art and other objects for public display made to museums, galleries and other such institutions by private owners and non-national institutions. It does this by indemnifying lenders against loss or damage to their loan. Loans covered by the scheme must be for public benefit. The scheme also covers loans of such objects for study purposes within borrowing institutions where this would contribute materially to the public's understanding or appreciation of the loan. Examples of this are enhancing interpretation or explanation to the public of objects or bringing into the public domain the conclusions of any study.

In the six-month period ended 30 September, the following undertakings to indemnify were given under Section 16 by the relevant departments for objects on loan to national and non-national institutions:

Department for Culture, Media and Sport 580
Scottish Executive education department 184
The National Assembly for Wales 139

The value of contingent liabilities in respect of undertakings given at any time under Section 16 and which remained outstanding as at 31 March is:

Department for Culture, Media and Sport 2,462,963,504
Scottish Executive education department 755,072,231
National Assembly for Wales 64,366,311

The value of non-statutory government indemnities to cover loans handled by the Government Art Collection and which remained outstanding as at 31 March is:

Value: £5,100,000

The value of non-statutory undertakings given to Her Majesty in respect of loans from the Royal Collection and which remained outstanding as at 30 September is:

Value: £162,094,556