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Prince Charles leaps to the rescue of the Adam brothers' Dumfries House

Dumfries House, one of the Adam brothers' most important buildings, has been saved for the nation - along with its revered collection of 18th-century furniture.

The Palladian mansion, built in 1758 by Robert and John Adam for the Fifth Earl of Dumfries, was due to go under the hammer on Tuesday (26 June).

The sale would have meant the building's furniture, described by SAVE Britain's Heritage as 'one of the most complete collections of Chippendale and Scottish furniture in the world', would be divided up and sold.

But now a last-minute intervention by Prince Charles, who secured a £45 million rescue package, has saved the day.

Under the agreement, a range of charities and heritage groups donated £25 million to charity the Art Fund. Prince Charles' Charity Foundation then contributed an additional £20 million to secure the sale by the building's owner Lord Bute.

The Art Fund will now hand the house, which lies around 20km east of Cumnock, to a trust that will open the building and some of its 800ha to the public.

SAVES's Adam Wilkinson said: 'The Prince of Wales took up the challenge and ran with it. We are delighted the building has been saved.'

by Max Thompson

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