Art Law Report

Opportunity Lost: Germany Enacts Revised Cultural Property Export Restrictions

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on June 24, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Immediately Squanders Market Opportunities Created by Brexit

On a historic day in the European Union, Germany quietly enacted the revised Cultural Property Protection Law (Kulturgutschutzgesetz) that has sparked much controversy in recent months.  On the very day that the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union raises myriad questions about the effect on London in particular as a world center of the art market (see here for the terrific first take by our friends at Boodle Hatfield in London), Germany ironically has passed a law that will prevent it from stepping into any of the likely market void left by Britain's EU exit.  While Germany is not alone in cultural property protection laws of this sort, it is a silly and unnecessary regulation that will undercut the German art market—as vocally proclaimed by German art market players themselves.  In the art world, it was a regressive day on the eastern side of the Atlantic and a huge opportunity lost for Germany.

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Topics: Germany, France, England, Kulturgutschutzgesetz, Federal Republic of Germany, Cultural Property Protection Law, Brexit, Export Restriction, European Union, Joan of Arc

European Cultural Protection Laws and Export Licenses—the Atlantic Gulf Widens

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on July 10, 2015 at 7:37 AM

Germany has proposed a revision to its cultural protection legislation that would further restrict exports of objects more than 50 years old. While worries that it is the equivalent to state expropriation are overblown, it does indicate a mindset that is in many ways incompatible with the modern art market—even if it is only an effort to harmonize German and EU law. The struggles of Germany’s efforts to keep pace with other centers of art trade may only be compounded if this becomes law.

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Topics: Legislation, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, cultural property, Roman antiquity, Germany, Cultural Protection Laws, England, Joshua Reynolds, European, Rome, 5th Amendment, Bundesländer, Italy, Monika Grütters, regulatory taking

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The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities.

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