Early portrait of slave banned from export

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The first known portrait of a freed slave by a British artist could be saved for the nation after the Government ordered a temporary export ban.

The work, by renowned 18th century portraitist William Hoare, was sold at Christie's in December for £555,000.

Now Margaret Hodge, the Culture Minister, has agreed to a Temporary Export Bar to see if funds can be raised to keep it in Britain.

The 1733 painting shows Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, a highly-born and educated Muslim from present-day Senegal.

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