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U.K. Galleries Buy Titian Diana Painting for 45 Million Pounds

“Diana and Callisto” by Titian
“Diana and Callisto” by Titian. The National Gallery in London said it purchased Titian’s “Diana and Callisto” jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland for 45 million pounds ($71.7 million), ensuring the painting stays on public display. Source: National Gallery, London, via Bloomberg

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- The National Gallery in London said it purchased Titian’s “Diana and Callisto” jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland for 45 million pounds ($71.7 million), ensuring the painting stays on public display.

The painting’s owner, the Duke of Sutherland, knocked the price down by 5 million pounds, allowing the purchase to take place with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, and other donors, the galleries said today in a joint release.

Another Titian -- “Diana and Actaeon” -- had been bought from the Duke in 2009 by the two museums for 50 million pounds. At the time, they had been given the option of purchasing the second Titian for a similar amount by 2012.

“For more than a hundred years, these two great paintings by Titian have been regarded as pre-eminent among the masterpieces in private hands in the U.K.,” said National Gallery Director Nicholas Penny. “We have been able to secure both of them for the public.”

More than half of the price tag -- or 25 million pounds -- came from the National Gallery’s charitable reserves, mainly from legacies to the gallery over the years.

The Heritage Lottery Fund gave 3 million pounds, and the Art Fund, 2 million pounds.

“Diana and Callisto” will be on display at the National Gallery in London for the next 18 months.

To contact the writer on the story: Farah Nayeri at farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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