Museums get £25m tax-scheme boost

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Treasures worth £25m have become part of public collections under a scheme allowing people to donate to museums instead of paying inheritance tax.

Rembrandt, Reynolds, Gainsborough and Turner works have been acquired under the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's acceptance-in-lieu scheme.

The largest private collection of Mozart scores is among items put into public ownership in the past year.

The MLA says the scheme is the biggest single boost to public collections.

Public display

Other pieces include the UK's oldest yacht, and the steam launch immortalised by Arthur Ransome as Captain Flint's houseboat in the Swallows and Amazons novels.

They will both be restored and go on public display at the Steamboat Museum on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Five portraits by Gainsborough, a Turner watercolour and a rare early painting by Francis Bacon will now grace the walls of museums and galleries across the country.

A diamond tiara, historic papers, contemporary posters and more than 3,500 Islamic coins have also been collected.