2000 J.M.W Turner's The High Street, Oxford
Image via Ashmolean Museum & University of Oxford

The £3.5 million painting will remain on display at Oxford's monumental Ashmolean Museum. The stunning painting, which captures Oxford's famous high street, was left to the British nation in lieu of inheritance tax. As the value of the painting was more than the tax, funds needed to be raised in order to keep it at the museum, where is has been on loan since 1997 from a private collection.

The painting was commissioned in 1809 by James Wyatt, an Oxford printseller. Wyatt kept all of the letters between himself and Turner, making it one of the artist's most documented works.

£860 000 was needed in order to keep the artwork, of which a £550 000 grant was given by the Heritage Lottery fund, £220 000 from the Art Fund and a further £30 000 from Friends and Patrons of the Ashmolean.

ashmolean-museum-1536 Ashmolean Museum
Image via the Art Fund

Director of the Ashmolean, Alexander Sturgis, was overjoyed by the support of the Oxford community and the museum's visitors, who raised the final £60 000.

"The museum has been overwhelmed by public support. With well over 800 people contributing to the appeal, it is clear that the local community, as well as visitors to the museum from across the world, feel that this picture, the greatest painting of the city ever made, must remain on show in a public museum in Oxford."

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