Mozart Manuscripts Saved By Acceptance In Lieu Scheme

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 27 October 2006
a photograph showing books and manuscripts

Part of the Mozart Rosental Collection

A significant collection of scores by Mozart and many other rare cultural treasures have been acquired for the nation through the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council’s (MLA) Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

The MLA has approved the acceptance of 83 printed scores consisting of 103 compositions by the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) in lieu of Inheritance Tax.

"In a year when the world celebrates the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, it is tremendously exciting that the these manuscripts have been saved for the nation by the Acceptance in Lieu scheme,” said Mark Wood, MLA Chairman. “This acquisition demonstrates the enormous contribution the scheme makes to building Britain's cultural heritage."

title page of a musical manuscript

The Mozart Rosental sonata (1764)

One of the most important collections of Mozart’s printed scores in the world, it contains 43 first editions, 17 for works for which no manuscript survives and 25 that are not in any other UK collection. Along with the scores, a variety of important cultural materials have also been accepted into the scheme.

The scores were all printed during Mozart’s lifetime and the earliest are of the Violin Sonatas K. 6 and 7, and K. 8 and 9, which were printed in London first in 1764 and again in the following year when Mozart visited the city. The scores have been allocated to the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

“Our cultural institutions enjoy an international reputation and every year Acceptance in Lieu enriches the cultural lives of UK residents and visitors alike,” added Culture Minister David Lammy. “It is great to see such rich resources as Mozart’s compositions being saved for the nation. I hope their preservation in a public collection will help inspire future generations.”

oil painting of a Roman piazza scene with a large building and crowds of people

The Lottery in Piazza di Montecitorio, Rome, Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)

The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme is designed to ensure that important objects can become public property to be enjoyed and studied by all. As funding for acquisitions becomes increasingly difficult, the Acceptance in Lieu scheme grows in importance and is now vital to the growth of collections.

The MLA, which runs the scheme on behalf of the government, announced the completion of 11 offers of outstanding cultural importance. Together these treasures are worth more than £7.5million. They have been widely allocated to collections in Belfast, Cambridge, Leeds, London, Oxford, Somerset and Suffolk.

Other objects accepted include a masterpiece by the Italian 18th century painter Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765), which has been acquired by the National Gallery with the help of a £150,000 grant from the Art Fund and five portraits by Thomas Gainsborough, which have been allocated to Gainsborough’s House Museum in Sudbury, Suffolk, the artist’s native town.

a photograph of a silver container and lid

Silver gilt altar cruet

The scheme also includes a Charles II Gold beaker, never before placed on exhibition, four medieval swords and an extremely rare helmet (armet) of the late 1530s which is the earliest known example from the royal armour workshop at the Palace of Greenwich. The workshop was established by Henry VIII to produce armour of the highest quality, much if not all for his personal use.

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