UK government has issued an export ban on an early Pablo Picasso painting sold at Christie's, in the hope of buying it back and keeping it in the country.
The export bar is valid until the end of the year follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest. It was issued in a bid to win time for UK museums to collect money and buy the artwork back.
According to the BBC, the Child with a Dove oil painting dates from 1901 and has been in a private collection since the 1920s. It has been widely displayed across the country since 1974.
The painting was loaned to London’s National Gallery until 2010. Earlier this year Christie’s auction house sold the artwork to an unknown foreign private buyer. The painting was valued at around $80 million.
Child with a Dove is one of Picasso's earliest works. He created it during the beginning of his Blue Period aged only 19.
The export bar will be in power until December 16 and could be extended for another six more months.
The National Gallery is unlikely to be able to purchase the artwork for its collection since it has just spent $71.7 million to purchase Titian's Diana and Callisto.