Lawrence of Arabia’s dashing white silk robes and a magnificent steel and silver dagger – presented to him after the capture of Aqaba – are at risk of being exported from the UK unless new buyers can be found. The culture minister, Ed Vaizey, placed temporary export bars on two of T.E. Lawrence’s most famous possessions on Tuesday.
They were sold at auction last year to overseas buyers and will be lost to Britain unless an individual or museum can match the asking price of £122,500 for the dagger and £12,500 for the robes.
Lawrence, an archaeologist and diplomat, became famous for his daring exploits as a military liaison officer during the 1916–18 Arab revolt. Vaizey called him ‘one of the most extraordinary figures of the twentieth century’. ‘These robes and dagger are absolutely iconic and a key part of his enduring image. It is important that these classic objects remain in the UK’, he said.
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