Fork me on GitHub

Export of objects of cultural interest

This is a set of statistics released by the DCMS about the export of 'objects of cultural interest'.

Cultural Goods are

Certain cultural objects more than 50 years of age and valued above specified financial thresholds require an individual licence for export out of the United Kingdom whether on a permanent or temporary basis.

This seems a little dry until you realise that the 11-12 statistics cover 33,000+ objects worth just under £2,000,000,000 (is that 2,000 million, or 2billion in UK English?)

The data deals with licensed exports, and also items that meet the Waverley Criteria for being of national importance. 1. Is it so closely connected with our history and national life that its departure would be a misfortune?2. Is it of outstanding aesthetic importance?3. Is it of outstanding significance for the study of some particular branch ofart, learning or history?

The data is a high level aggregate of the number and value of items exported from the UK in various categories:

  • Arms and armour
  • Books, maps etc
  • Books (natural history)
  • Clocks and watches
  • Coins and medals
  • Drawings: architectural, engineering and scientific
  • Drawings, prints, water-colours
  • Egyptian antiquities
  • Ethnography
  • Furniture and woodwork
  • Greek and Roman antiquities
  • Indian furniture
  • Japanese antiquities
  • Manuscripts, documents and archives
  • Maritime material, including paintings
  • Middle East antiquities
  • Musical Instruments
  • Oriental antiquities (except Japanese)
  • Oriental furniture, porcelain and works of art
  • Paintings, British, modern
  • Paintings, foreign
  • Paintings, miniature
  • Paintings, portraits of British persons
  • Photographs
  • Pottery
  • Prehistory & Europe (inc. Archaeological material, Medieval and later antiquities & Metal Detecting Finds)
  • Scientific and mechanical material
  • Sculpture
  • Silver and weapons, Scottish
  • Silver, metalwork and jewellery
  • Tapestries, carpets (and textiles)
  • Toys
  • Transport
  • Wallpaper
  • Western Asiatic antiquities
  • Zoology (stuffed specimens)

Published annually.

Used In Anger

This section is for detailing any prototypes made with this data. We haven't found any examples yet: let us know if you've made something.

Technical Details

RDF Tables are available, and look fairly clean.

The statistics seem to be held in PDFs or an RDF file, with separate PDFs for each table. The RDF claims that CSV files are available, but these don't seem to be linked from the relevant sub-pages.

Dataset Size

A small collection of aggregated data tables


All appears to be published under the Open Government License

Contact information


Is this article out-of-date? Update it via GitHub.