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As previously reported, German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters made a series of amendments to the proposals after protests came from dealers, auctioneers, galleries, collectors and artists who all fear that the legislation will dramatically restrict the free trade in works of art in Germany.

Grütters presented the first draft of the law in June but has now changed the thresholds above which an export licence would be required. They now apply to cultural objects with a value of €300,000 or more - double the original sum - and older than 70 years, as opposed to the 50 years in the first draft.

Furthermore, the section which would have allowed the authorities to freely inspect private residences housing cultural property has been struck from the proposal.

And even though the Kulturschutzgesetz is not set to come into force before the middle of 2016 at the earliest, its effects are already being noticed.

According to market insiders, "truckloads" of art have been exported from Germany, many of which were headed for London, much to the chagrin of local auctioneers, who have had to do without many high-priced consignments.