MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2021 – 15:35

Acquisition Policy

The development of collections is a core activity of the Sainsbury Centre and reflects our desire to bring to our visitors the best possible enjoyment and education concerning the visual arts. But any growth in our collections will be measured against sustainable growth and how we can care for the collections. The Sainsbury Centre will seek to expand the range, depth and texture of the collections by making acquisitions that clearly relate to the ethos of the institution as explained in the Collections Development Policy.

All works of art proposed for acquisition are considered through the same procedures, whether offered as purchase, gift or bequest, or allocated by the Government in lieu of tax. Proposals are discussed and assessed by Sainsbury Centre staff and their recommendations are considered by the Senior Management Team. Final assessments and decisions are made by the Director. All decisions, however, rest ultimately with the Sainsbury Centre Board of Trustees who act on behalf of the University of East Anglia.

Collections Development Policy

View our Collections Development Policy in full as a PDF here.

Exhibitions Policy

View our Exhibitions Policy in full as a PDF here.

Zero Tolerance Policy

At the Sainsbury Centre we treat our customers with courtesy and respect and ask for the same in return. We ask that you treat our staff courteously, without violence, abuse or harassment. Any behaviour verbal or physical, which causes staff to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or threatened, is deemed unacceptable.

The Sainsbury Centre adopts a zero tolerance approach to anti-social, abusive, aggressive or violent behaviour made in person, over the telephone or in written communication.

This includes:

  • The use of aggressive or abusive language, which threatens or intimidates staff or other visitors
  • Attempted or actual physical violence or harassment towards any member of staff or other visitors
  • Discriminatory language or behaviour, this includes but is not limited to abusive behaviour based on race, sexual orientation, gender, class or religion
  • Causing damage to the premises or theft from staff, customers or the venue
  • Anti-social behaviour including the use of illegal substances on site

This policy applies throughout the premises and to any of our employees working in an outreach setting.

Any instance or threat of physical abuse, harassment, theft or illegal activity will be reported to the police and the offender will be removed from the premises by our security team. The customer will be denied access to the premises in the future.

Due Diligence Policy

As outlined in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) Collections Development Policy, SCVA shall exercise due diligence, in accordance with the following policy and procedures, when considering any acquisition or loan.

The SCVA Due Diligence Policy confirms to the national and international standards as set out in the following documents:
• UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property.
• 1973 Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES).
• UNIDROIT 1995 Convention on the Stolen and Illicitly Exported Cultural Works.
• UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
• UNESCO 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the intangible Cultural Heritage.
• The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
• Combating Illicit Trade: Due diligence guidelines for Museums, Libraries and Archives on collecting and borrowing Cultural Material (DCMS, October 2005).
• SPECTRUM: UK Documentation Standard for Museums.
• ICOM code of ethics.
• ICOM Red List.
• MA code of ethics.
• Statement of Principles issued by the National Museum Director’s Conference on ‘Spoilation of works of art during the Holocaust and World War 2 period’ in 1998.
For acquisition and loans due diligence procedures are as follows:
• Full provenance checks will be carried out on all works proposed for acquisition or loan in for exhibition, display or research.
• SCVA will exercise due diligence to establish the status of objects under consideration for loan or acquisition, making every reasonable effort to investigate the provenance of an object. Where necessary, SCVA will extend research beyond the information supplied by the lender in an effort to clarify the history of the object.
• Due diligence checks are assigned to the Curator responsible for each exhibition or acquisition. The Curator responsible will be required to complete a Curator’s Due Diligence check list in advance.
• Training on due diligence will be provided to all new staff by the Gallery Registrar. The Gallery Registrar will ensure that all staff are aware of any policy or legislation changes and provide refresher training as necessary.
• Prospective lenders/donors/vendors will be alerted to the Due Diligence Policy.
• Lenders/donors/vendors are required to declare on a Loan Agreement/Transfer of Title document that they;
• acquired work by legitimate means.
• have legal ownership of the work.
• are unaware of any third party claims to the work.
• that they are free from encumbrances to lend, donate or sell this work.
• Where appropriate, information will be verified against published sources, including sales catalogues, exhibition catalogues, journals, published articles, import/export documentation etc.
• Where the lender/donor/vendor is unable to provide satisfactory information and the above checks have not resolved any issues over the history of the work, SCVA will consult scholars and curators in the relevant field, the Art Loss Register, the ICOM Red list, Spoliation Committee and other databases as appropriate
• Paper records will be kept of all checks made, including copies of electronic correspondence and noted of any verbal information received. If institutional lenders provide their own loan agreements, their documentation is scrutinised to ensure that it conforms to standards and addresses the issues of provenance and ownership to a satisfactory standard. Where the lenders loan documentation addresses these issues sufficiently, we will require them to complete our own confirmation of ownership form in addition to their own loan agreement.
• Loan Agreements, Confirmation of Ownership forms and Transfer of Title forms are administered by the Gallery Registrar.
• Provenance information between 1933 and 1945 will be given particular attention and any other information which might suggest possible discrepancies or irregularities in provenance ownership.
• Checks will be carried out to ensure that the excavation, importation, transfer and exportation of the work has not contravened UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Cultural Property where relevant.
• Once all provenance information has been compiled by the project Curator, the information will be reviewed and checked by the Head of Collections Management and Conservation. When information is considered unsatisfactory and if it is unclear whether to proceed with the acquisition or loan, the evidence will be presented to the SCVA Senior Management Team, led by the Director. Final decisions will then be made by the SCVA Director. The ultimate responsibility of overseeing due diligence procedures lies with the SCVA Director.
• SCVA will not accept the loan or acquisition of any object where it has good cause to believe that:
• the current holder is not legitimately entitled to retain the object;
• the current holder cannot loan the object to the Museum free from encumbrances; or
• the object was stolen, illegally exported or illegally imported.
• All aspects affecting an acquisition or loan will be considered thoroughly before SCVA makes a request. In exceptional circumstances, SCVA will not proceed with a loan for the following reasons:
• If a lender’s terms and conditions of loan prove extraordinary and cannot be met.
• If costs associated with a loan (e.g. loan fees, conservation, crating or transport) rise to unacceptable levels.
• If the insurance value given for a loan is higher than the known market value
• In the event of unrest (including war) in the country of origin.
• If the Lender cannot confirm that they acquired the object by legitimate means.
• If the Lender cannot confirm that they have legal ownership of the object.
• If the Lender is aware of any third party claims to the object.
• If any information surrounding provenance is unacceptable under current national and international standards.
• If evidence suggests that the object has been illegally excavated or exported from its country of origin.


The Sainsbury Centre is committed to respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We have therefore taken all reasonable efforts to ensure that the reproduction of all content on these pages (including but not restricted to images, text and audio), is done with the full consent of copyright owners. 

Any queries in this respect should be addressed to: 

Taz Chappell
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
University of East Anglia
NR4 7TJ 

The contents of this website can be viewed for your enjoyment and so you may freely access and download the contents on a temporary basis for the sole purposes of viewing, interacting or listening to them, providing you do not remove in whole or in part any trademarks, copyright and other proprietary notices contained in or appearing on any of the material. All other rights are reserved and you should ask our permission before making any other use of the website. 

However, the following acts are prohibited in respect of any of the content featured on this website:

  • public performance or display
  • any rental leasing or lending of any material obtained or derived from the website
  • any form of reproduction whatsoever, including without limitation, the extraction and/or storage in any retrieval system or inclusion in any other computer programme or work
  • any reproduction whatsoever of details, alterations and adaptations of works 

Immunity from Seizure

There are no exhibitions with protected objects at present.

Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 provides immunity from seizure for cultural objects which are loaned from overseas to temporary public exhibitions in approved museums or galleries in the UK where conditions are met when the object enters the UK.

The conditions are:

  • The object is usually kept outside the UK 
  • The object is not owned by a person who is resident in UK 
  • Importing the object does not contravene any law 
  • The object is brought into UK for the purpose of a temporary public exhibition at an approved museum or gallery 
  • The museum or gallery has published information about the object 

All works currently being proposed for or covered by immunity from seizure in the UK are linked to the Arts Council’s website.

If you have any further enquiries, please write to:

Immunity from Seizure
Director’s Office

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
University of East Anglia

Reproducing content from the Sainsbury Centre website

Please note that copyright in all content comprising or contained within this website remains with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA Norwich and other copyright owners as specified. In terms of artistic works, if the artist is alive, or has been dead for less than 70 years, there will be a separate copyright in the work itself that is additional to the copyright in the photographic reproduction. 

If you wish to reproduce any images of works featured in this website, you should first contact Taz Chappell, Gallery Registrar 01603 591057 or t.chapell@uea.ac.uk. Where necessary, you will then be required to clear the copyright in the art work with the appropriate rights holder. The duration of copyright in other types of content featured on this website may vary and if you wish to reproduce any of it (such as text, audio-visual, graphics etc), please contact the Sainsbury Centre who will be able to advise accordingly. 

It is your responsibility to obtain permission from copyright holders or their agents before a reproduction of works or any other content is made, or this will constitute an infringement of copyright.

Online Shop

For policies relating to the online shop please see our customer-support page.

Access Policy

This document sets out the Sainsbury Centre’s policy on access, and covers the building, the surrounding sculpture park, as well as engagements off-site via the website or our outreach programmes. It takes a broad view of access as detailed below.

Sainsbury Centre Access Policy

Privacy Policy

Your right to privacy is important to us.

We aim to strike the right balance between your privacy and making sure you get the information you need from us. You may choose to provide us with personal information in an e-mail message to any of the addresses listed on our site or by filling in a form and submitting it to us through our website.

We use this information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the material you have requested. If you tick the box requesting to receive regular email updates from us and submit this through the website, we will not share your personal information with any other organisation.

If you would like to be removed from a mailing list, or if you have any further queries regarding the way we will use your information, please contact: Marketing Department, Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, or scva@uea.ac.uk.

Read our privacy policy in full.