Conference
The Risk Management in the Art and Antiquities Markets seminar in London yesterday, hosted by Art Market Minds and law firm K&L Gates.

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Delegates at a seminar in London yesterday, hosted by Art Market Minds and law firm K&L Gates, yesterday were warned the market is under pressure amid a perceived rise in the illicit trade in art and antiquities.

However codes of conduct and membership of an association are regarded as protection against risk, the Risk Management in the Art and Antiquities Markets seminar heard.

Ivan Macquisten, art market advisor, campaigner and lobbyist, said: "Ethics, transparency and self-regulation are becoming more and more important.

"Trade organisations are key. They encourage best practice and confidence of professionalism of its members.”

Professor Janet Ulph, Leicester Law School, said the advantages of Codes of Conduct for associations are numerous as it protects members and ensures rules are adhered to that can be relied upon in court cases and legal disputes.

Macquisten concluded: "We have become more engaged which is good. If we are tougher on ourselves we have a better future."

New Guidelines

The discussion followed the launch of the Responsible Art Market Initiative which was unveiled at the Artgenève Salon d’art in Geneva on January 26.

The Responsible Art Market Initiative published a set of guidelines designed to crack down on illegal activity in the Swiss city.

The list of 10 guidelines “on combating money laundering and terrorist financing” for vetting buyers and sellers of art have been drafted with the help of art law consultant and former legal director at Christie’s Mathilde Heaton. 

The K&L Gates conference covered numerous areas including money laundering, criminal sanctions and regulatory compliance.