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Museum Shells Out $1.3 Million To Keep Realistic Bust Of Queen Victoria In UK

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A British museum shelled out more than a million dollars to keep a a realistic looking bust of Queen Victoria in the United Kingdom, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge bought the Victoria bust for over $1.3 million to keep it from getting exported to a museum in New York City, The Guardian reported. The marble bust features an aged Queen Victoria, which Sir Alfred Gilbert crafted from 1887 to 1889.  The bust showcases the then-70-year-old British monarch’s somber expression due to grieving over the death of her husband Prince Albert. (RELATED: Rare Ancient Chinese Bowl Is Auctioned Off For $30 Million)

Gilbert used photographs and had his mother pose to create an accurate-looking bust of Victoria. Gilbert depicted the queen as overweight with puffy cheeks, small eyes, while decked out in a veil and jewelry.

Victoria also became reclusive following the death of her late husband and wore black for the rest of her long life. Despite her grief, she eventually returned to the limelight for major events. (RELATED: Vase Found In Old Shoe Box Set To Go For $600K In Auction)

“This exceptional depiction of Queen Victoria belongs in the UK and I am thrilled that it has been saved for the nation. Our export bar system exists to keep nationally important works of art in this country,” said Michael Ellis, the minister for arts, heritage and tourism, according to the BBC. (RELATED: A Once Scandalous Nude Painting Sold For $157 Million)

The bust will be displayed at the museum starting June 20.

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