Cultural Gifts Celebrated in Online Gallery
2 September 2003 at 1:09 pm
General Douglas MacArthur’s fishing dinghy, Muriel’s wedding dress, a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and works of art by Fred Williams are among the treasures collected together in a new online gallery celebrating 25 years of the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
The online gallery was launched by the Federal Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp, at ScreenSound Australia- the recipient of the bridal costumes from Muriel’s Wedding, which were donated under the program.
Senator Kemp told the launch that for 25 years the Cultural Gifts Program has been helping Australia’s public museums, galleries and libraries expand their collections of works of art and cultural heritage material through tax incentives for gifts of significant items.
Donors may claim the cost of the valuations and, in most cases, the full market value of their gift as a tax deduction.
Senator Kemp says more than $290 million worth of gifts has been donated over the 25-year period. As part of the celebrations the website allows you to browse the treasure trove of gifts online.
He says the generosity of the Australian public has meant a wealth of cultural treasures has been added to public collections giving researchers, students and the Australian community access to a diverse range of cultural material that may otherwise not be available to them.
More than 380 Australian cultural institutions participate in the Cultural Gifts Program. Many institutions with modest operating budgets, particularly those in regional areas, often rely on donations as a means to acquire items for their collections.
The Australian Government introduced enhancements to the program in 2000, making gifts exempt from capital gains tax and donors able to apportion deductions for gifts over a period of up to five years, maximising their tax benefit.
The Federal Government says the changes to the program have led to a significant increase in the value of gifts donated, from $17.5 million in 1999-2000 to $26.1 million in 2000-01 and $39.6 million in 2001-02.
The Cultural Gifts Program 25th Anniversary Online Gallery is available at www.dcita.gov.au/cgp/anniversary.html.