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Chief executive Malcolm Hord has announced that from January 1, 2002, LAPADA will enter into a close co-operative agreement with VNAG, Vereniging Nederlands Antiquairs Genootschap, with a view to full union in the future.

He said: “The art and antiques trade is now more than ever an international business which, within the European Union, increasingly operates under common regulations and legislation. It therefore seems to us a logical step that we should form strong alliances with other associations in Europe. We believe that both LAPADA and VNAG will be greatly strengthened by pooling our resources and experience, and that our members will benefit as a result.”

Chris van Megchelen, chairman of VNAG, revealed that from his association’s first contacts with LAPADA, they were a “perfect match”, and he said that they had “no doubts whatsoever” that the initiative would be a success.

VNAG was formed in 1968 and has 70 members spread across Europe, four of whom are already LAPADA members. The combined association when formed will be known as The Association of Art and Antique Dealers (AAAD), using the chandelier symbol, and will be based at LAPADA’s London offices. There would also be a small administrative base in Holland. Existing services would be enhanced but there would be no change to subscription levels nor to their membership of BAMF or CINOA.