Deadline to save rare Wedgwood vase extended

Campaigners have been given more time to raise funds to keep a rare Wedgwood vase in Staffordshire.

The piece is one of four made by Josiah Wedgwood himself on the opening day of his factory in Etruria in 1769 that has survived.

It had been on loan to the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley until it was withdrawn by its owner and sold at auction to an overseas buyer last year.

A temporary export ban was placed on it by the Government in December, giving the Friends of the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery group the chance to raise the £482,500 to keep it in the city.

The deadline to raise the amount expired yesterday, but thanks to an £90,000 Art Fund grant that has now been extended to July 14.

NEWS: Fundraising campaign launched to save rare Wedgwood vase >>

Ian Lawley, chairman of Friends of the Museum, said: “We are delighted that Art Fund is making such a generous contribution to our campaign.

“The Government’s decision to extend the export ban is another great boost. It is a vote of confidence in our ability to maintain the fundraising momentum and save the vase for the people of Stoke-on-Trent.”

Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director, said: “Wedgwood is close to the Art Fund’s heart, following our successful public appeal in 2014 to save the collection for the nation. So, given this First Day’s Vase’s great cultural importance and central significance to Stoke-on-Trent, we knew we had to help.

“We are so pleased to hear that the export ban deadline has been extended until July, and we urge everyone to support the museum’s Friends group in securing this quite exceptional work of art for future generations to enjoy at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.”

So far more than £83,000 has been raised during the campaign, including a £60,000 Arts Council England grant managed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, which will be made to the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery via the city council. The grant is in addition to the £90,000 that has now been promised by Art Fund, and which will take the fundraising appeal to over a third of its target.

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