HL Deb 11 December 2001 vol 629 c181WA
Lord Gladwin of Clee

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many indemnity undertakings were given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in respect of loss or damage to works of art loaned to the British Council for exhibition overseas for the six-month period ended 30 September; and what was the value of the contingent liabilities in respect of such undertakings which remained outstanding at that date. [HL1965]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)

The British Council, although not a government department, receives a substantial grant in aid from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It regularly organises or sponsors exhibitions overseas of works of art loaned from national galleries and private collections in the United Kingdom. It provides certain assurances or guarantees in respect of loss or damage while these works are on loan.

In the six-month period ended 30 September 2001, the British Council provided such assurances to two national lenders and undertakings to 14 private lenders. The value of the contingent liabilities that remained outstanding as at 30 September 2001 in respect of national lenders was £464,200 and in respect of private lenders was £3,797,125, i.e. a total of £4,261,325.