Plans released by the National Archive explain how 11 vans would be dispatched in the event of nuclear warfare in order to collect artworks from galleries such as The National Gallery, The Tate, The British Museum and The Victoria & Albert Museum. The works would then be taken to underground bunkers located in Wales and Wiltshire.

ab4ca_jan11_va Inside The Victoria & Albert Museum

Included in the works to be saved are pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, Constable and Turner. The plans were devised with London's art in mind, but officials were advised to follow out similar plans in Scotland as well as cities across the UK.

According to documents, officials at the Royal Scottish Museum were advised: "It would seem that there is very adequate space in the basement for all the exhibits which the museum might wish to place in special storage."

The document also explained how preserving the art should not be of the highest priority: "It is unlikely that attention to stored exhibits will be a high priority during the survival or recovery stage."