§ Lieut. - Colonel JAMES
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (1) whether his Department authorised a certain alleged expert to attempt the restoration of one of the eight pictures in tempera by Andrea Mantegna, forming part of the Royal collection at Hampton Court Palace, on the grounds that the picture was in defective condition, and whether he will state, what precise technical qualifications or experience, if any, were possessed by that person for the successful carrying out of this work;
(2) whether, as the result of the treatment of a Mantegna picture forming part of the Royal collection at Hampton Court by a so-called expert and his female assistants, the said picture has been 1094W irreparably damaged and its former beauty destroyed; whether any correspondence emanating from the president and council of the Royal Academy has been transmitted to his Department; and, if so, whether he will furnish copies of the correspondence?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
These pictures, which I understand to have been already extensively restored by Laguerre in the reign of King William the III., form no part of the national collections, and the Treasury have no correspondence or responsibility with regard to them.