South East Wales

Burges vase to stay in Wales after National Museum Wales buy

The vase Image copyright Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Image caption The vase was designed by William Burges in 1874

A "historic" vase will remain in Wales after the £163,000 offer of a foreign buyer was matched by National Museum Wales.

The vase is one of four designed by William Burges in 1874, for the corners of the Summer Smoking Room at Cardiff Castle's clock tower.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey halted its exportation in May to give a UK buyer a chance to come forward.

National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund and Headley Trust helped fund it.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Burges designed rooms at Cardiff Castle for the third Marquess of Bute when he was the third richest man in the world

Andrew Renton, keeper of art at National Museum Wales, said he was "delighted" it had acquired the piece.

"Cardiff is a key location for the understanding of Burges but, despite his prominent architectural legacy in the city, there are surprisingly few objects designed by him in Wales," he said.

"It [the vase] will certainly have a major impact on how the museum tells the story of Victorian design.

"Burges is probably best known in Wales for his work on Cardiff Castle and we hope to be able to work with them in promoting the story of the architect and his impact on design in Wales."

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said given its local significance, he was pleased the "striking" vase would remain in Wales.

Mr Vaizey said of the purchase: "William Burges was one of the UK's most important architectural designers, with a real influence on Cardiff's landscape so it's fantastic news that thanks to the export ban this historic vase will remain in Cardiff for everyone to enjoy."

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