COMMENT: As reported last week, the postcard campaign launched by art dealer Niall Fairhead in a bid to raise the threshold for the Artist's Resale Right has made progress, attracting more signatories for the online petition and eliciting answers from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
Now, we learn, personal replies have started
to arrive from the relevant Business & Enterprise department
and are as disappointingly equivocal as ever.
Whether the minister responsible will show
any more backbone in standing up for British business remains to be
seen, but the frankly astonishing statement that nothing can be
done without evidence being put forward to show the damaging
effects on the art trade beggars belief. What do they think has
been laid before Whitehall time and again over the past decade, and
continues to be submitted, both through the online petition and
On Wednesday, June 13, the front page lead
report in The Times quoted the Chancellor George Osborne
as urging business leaders "to be much more vocal in helping the
Conservatives to make the case for a low tax economy and a smaller
As we pointed out when Prime Minister David Cameron spoke out
strongly against the financial transaction tax being proposed for
the City by the EU, ARR is an exact parallel for the British art
trade... all of which begs the question: Just how loud must we
shout before the Government takes note?