This week’s printed copy of ATG contains a postcard addressed to the Culture Secretary carrying the following message: “I oppose the extension of Artist’s Resale Right to works by deceased artists and request that the threshold which triggers it be raised from €1000 to €3000.”
We have printed 25,000 copies of the
postcard, shown here, which is the creation of art dealer Niall
Fairhead, and are asking all ATG subscribers and others with an
interest in the British art market to add their personal message to
it and send it to the Secretary of State in support of this
If you have not received a postcard and
would like one, call any of the following numbers and they will
send you one to fill out and send on to the Culture Secretary:
ATG: 020 7420 6600
LAPADA: 020 7823 3511
BADA: 020 7589 4128
In geeting your message across about the
effects of ARR, experience has taught us that the most effective
means tend to be one relating to voting intentions at the next
election, something along the lines of: "This issue is of such
importance to me that your efforts in resolving it are likely to
have a significant impact on my voting choice in the next general
Please do not simply copy these words,
however, as a personal message needs to be just that if it is to
have any effect.
It is also important for those sending the
postcard to the Secretary of State to include their personal
details in the section for name, address, business name etc, so
that he can be assured that it is genuinely from an interested
individual rather than a mass posting from a single source, which
it would be easier to ignore.
And it is well worthwhile giving him a brief
idea about how ARR has affected you or your business. "I don't have
time for all the paperwork" or "my profit margins are small enough
as it is - this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back" are
the sort of thing.
Although it seems that ARR is here to stay,
the European Union directive which imposed it on the UK allows for
the threshold at which it is triggered to be €3000. It was the
British government which chose to 'gold plate' the directive -
something it generally advises against doing - introducing a
threshold of only €1000 after vigorous lobbying from the collection
This means that the threshold can still be
adjusted to €3000 easily, without going against the directive, a
move that would greatly benefit smaller dealers trading at the
lower value end of the market as well as cutting down significantly
on red tape for all.
With all this in mind, every postcard sent
to the Culture Secretary counts.
On a separate point, we are also asking
subscribers to email a similar message to their own MP. The more
pressure we can apply via this route, the deeper the impact as they
refer the matter to the Culture department, either directly to the
Secretary of State or to his ministers.
Visit the link http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps
There you will find a search facility that
allows you to insert your postcode to find out who your MP is. The
result should link directly to their website where you will find
their email address.
Meanwhile Mr Fairhead has also been highly
active online, with his petition against the Resale Right topping
1000 signatories as we went to press. Their comments demonstrate
just how many people and businesses have been affected by the
extension of the Resale Right to the estates of dead artists.
It is interesting to note that those
registering their objection here include a number of artists, who
are either angry that they have not been consulted on the matter or
fearful that it will damage the market for their work. More than
one of them also denounces the Right as simply unfair.
You can read their comments and sign as well
at the following link:
If you choose to do so, it is vital that you
confirm your signature by clicking on the web link that will be
sent automatically to your email account, otherwise your signature
will not be registered.
In summary then, we are asking you to do
- Fill out the postcard and send it to the Culture Secretary
(this is the most important task)
- Email your MP with the same message
- Sign up to Mr Fairhead's petition online
By doing all these things, you will be
helping the British art market, small dealers and collectors.
Thank you for your support.
Prior to the extension of the Artist's
Resale Right to the estates of dead artists, ATG, along with the
British Art Market Federation, campaigned vociferously against it.
Like BAMF, however, once the extension came into force at the
beginning of this year, we decided to hold back on any further
comment to see whether the industry would react, unprompted, at the
Art dealer Niall Fairhead's online petition
quickly showed that it had.
Now, with 1000 people signed up - many
giving detailed voice to their disquiet - there is already a clear
picture that gives the lie to claims from the Design and Artists'
Copyright Society that everything is rosy in the garden and that
ARR in its new form is not damaging trade.
As this week's front page, the report
printed online here and the campaign postcard show, it is not too
late to do something about ARR. The current €1000 threshold is not
a given under the European Union directive - €3000 would be fine
and, in fact, would be more in keeping with the spirit of the
directive as it would more closely harmonise the market position
across Europe, something the directive sets out to do.
BAMF, LAPADA, the BADA and ATG have worked closely with Niall
Fairhead to bring this opportunity for you to make your views clear
to the Culture Secretary. All we ask now, is that you grab that
opportunity with both hands.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.