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As the practical process of Brexit began last week, we ask what chance this law (officially the Artist Resale Right Regulations 2006), which has caused so much red tape for auctioneers and dealers alike since its debut, could be amended or even ditched?

As government announced a Great Repeal Bill was on its way, trade bodies and art market professionals told ATG they are working on arguments to have ARR and other laws looked at on the trade’s behalf.

We should temper our hopes on ARR’s demise, however. Many in the UK may want ARR abolished but there are also strongly held views on the side of artists, their beneficiaries and ARR collecting agencies.

Deft negotiation tactics are needed to gain a sympathetic government hearing – we won’t be top of the queue, after all – so a more realistic strategy might be to push for the law to be amended rather than deleted from UK statute books.

At ATG’s Brexit round table in January 2016 (ATG No 2228) a popular proposal was to raise the financial threshold at which ARR applies from €1000 to £3000.

Professional political negotiators are having their mettle tested by Brexit. At the same time our sector’s diplomatic skills are needed more than ever, and tackling ARR seems a good place to start.

Scams, paranoia and cyber crime

Type the word ‘scam’ into antiquestradegazette.com’s search bar and up pops a colourful litany of stories spanning the years.

What’s changed is how sophisticated cyber scams and hackers have become. In this they follow in the grubby footsteps of the forgers who undermine the integrity of the art and antiques market.

To add to the angst caused by cyber crime, many insurers simply do not cover the problem, as our news story (front page) points out.

We publish this item and expert advice (page 6) not to encourage paranoia, but rather to raise your awareness of the constant and growing threat of cyber fraud.

Up-to-date IT security systems are essential – having security software that is current, for example – but so too are the procedures which auctioneers, dealers and all buyers need to have in place. It takes little time, for instance, to have strong passwords, changed on a regular basis.

With cyber crime, as with all potential threats to your business or property, the mantra must be that prevention is much more preferable to any ‘cure’.