Wealthy buyers and dealers are using 'exploitable loopholes' and 'gentlemen's agreements' to avoid export restrictions on national treasures. This has resulted in 41 artworks worth almost £300m leaving our shores for good between 2011 - 2016. These pieces included Picasso's Child With A Dove which is now thought to be in Qatar and a Rembrandt self portrait.
Victoria Ayling UKIP Heritage and Tourism Spokesman supported The Art Fund in demanding that the rules should be tightened.
She said, "Important cultural objects bought by overseas collectors often have a temporary export ban put on them. This gives British dealers or museums a chance to match the price, then the owner has to sell it to them. This has meant many wonderful and historical pieces have been saved for the Nation to be enjoyed by all, whilst the owner still gets a fair price.
"Unfortunately too many National Treasures are slipping through the net and I am concerned that Civil Servants who run the system are turning a blind eye to some of these goings on. The rules should be tightened up otherwise many more important and beautiful historical items will leave our shores forever. It saddens me that many will languish in some private home overseas.
"Not only have we lost national treasures, but that there is a likelihood that they will never be displayed for public enjoyment."