Four months to save 300m pound masterpieces by Renaissance master Titian

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Two of the most important paintings in Britain could be lost to the nation unless 100 million pounds is found to keep them. The paintings, by the Renaissance master Titian, are believed to be worth 300 million pounds on the open market, but are offered at a discount to the nation by the Duke of Sutherland.

He has set a deadline of New Year’s Eve to agree the 50 million pound purchase of Diana & Actaeon, with a second 50 million pounds asked for Diana & Callisto in four years’ time.

Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, already under pressure to help home-owners, drivers, poorer families and athletes, was being urged last night to find enough money for the paintings.

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