A fragment from a page where Charles Darwin outlined his theory of evolution is at risk of leaving the UK – unless a British buyer forks out nearly £500,000.
The handwritten, draft page of Darwin’s On The Origin Of Species could be sold abroad unless a UK buyer is found.
The page, which even includes the words ‘natural selection’, contains Darwin’s corrections and reworking and ‘evidence of pauses for contemplation’.
Arts, Heritage and Tourism Minister Michael Ellis has placed a temporary export bar on the page, from a private collection, and two others from Darwin’s later publications, in the hope that a UK buyer will be found.
Peter Barber, member of the reviewing committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest, which made the decision, said: ‘Handwritten drafts of Charles Darwin’s books are of the greatest rarity.
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