The French government has imposed an export ban on three items which descendants of France’s former royal family consigned to auction at Sotheby’s Paris, Yahoo News reports.
France’s culture minister Fleur Pellerin designated the items as pieces of “national treasure” to stop them from going under the hammer and from leaving the country.
The designation halts the sale and gives the French government 30 months to raise the money required to purchase the artworks for the national collection (see Sale of Rembrandt Portraits Owned by Eric De Rothschild Worth €150 Million Sparks Controversy).
The lots include a 17th-century portrait of King Louis XIII, a portrait of the duchess of Orleans, and an accounts book from the Château d’Amboise, a 15th-century royal residence in the Loire valley.
The export restrictions imposed by the French government have not effected the sale of approximately 200 other lots from the family with supposed royal roots that will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s Paris on September 29.
Collectors can still look forward to bidding on regal paraphernalia, such as a 13th-century piece of a cloak worn by King Louis IX and a 17th century sketchbook belonging to a young Louis XIV.
The family is reportedly hoping to raise €5 million ($5.6 million) to settle substantial inheritance taxes. The family’s tax debt has already forced them to auction off historic royal heirlooms on three separate occasion since 1999, which has netted a total of €5 million.
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