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June 25, 2009

The true price of priceless treasures

Posted at 8:38 pm in British Museum

Institutions such as the British Museum often refuse to put a monetary value on much of their collection, instead classifying it as priceless. Sometimes this is the case, even though the item was originally bought for a price – so a current fair price ought to be possible to assess. This lack of a clear idea of an items worth is often a stumbling block in negotiations for the return of an artefact, where some form of compensation may be required. Certainly, many of these artefacts may be impossible to replace if they were lost – but at the same time, there are few tangible objects in the real world that can not have some financial value attached to them.

New regulations coming in are likely to make it harder for institutions to avoid valuations of their collections.

Financial Director

Balance sheet reprieve for cultural gems
Mario Christodoulou, Accountancy Age, 25 Jun 2009

ASB releases new guidelines which encourage museums, galleries and other cultural institutions to place their collections on their books in a bid to increase transparency

The days when museums and galleries could leave their most precious items off their balance sheets are not quite over yet, according to new standards aimed at increasing the transparency surrounding heritage assets.
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