Readers of the Art Law Report know that for several years running now, I have enjoyed events in Geneva organized by the Art Law Foundation and the Responsible Art Market Initiative in January/February. I am happy to report that this year is no exception. RAM is presenting its latest event “A Responsible Art Market in Practice,” to be held on Friday February 1, 2019 at the Palexpo in the venue of the artgenève fair. After joining the RAM Taskforce and contributing to its Toolkit and country guide for the US, I am pleased to be presenting one of the case studies, in between a roster of distinguished speakers and experts. I hope to see you there!
Topics: Responsible Art Market initiative, Geneva, Art Law Foundation, Palexpo, artgenève, Georgina Adam, Justine Ferland, Art Law Centre, Artcurial, Carine Decroi, Philippe Davet, Blondeau & Cie, Suzanne Gyorgy, Phillips, Mathilde Heaton, CitiBank, Aude Lemogne, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Jean-Bernard Schmid, Ochsner & associés, Sandrine Giroud, Lalive, Roland Foord, Stephenson Harwood, Andreas Ritter, Association Marché d’Art Suisse, Irina Tarsis, Financial Times, The Art Newspaper
Casting aspersions about the art market is a popular pastime. And no doubt there is much about the commercial art world that invites this criticism, not least a tendency towards secrecy (or discretion, depending whom you ask). Sometimes these criticisms lean into suggestions of rampant criminality or money laundering, for which there is actually scant support. That is to say, there is a common suggestion that the lack of a single regulatory scheme over the art market (which is not to say it is unregulated, another misconception) is evidence of participation by dealers or collectors in illicit activity. In fact, as we have written before, the far greater risk is of being used by bad actors trying to launder money through art transactions. For this and other reasons, we were proud to assist in drafting the Responsible Art Market initiative U.S. country guide and the more recent toolkit that was launched in January.
Topics: Money laundering, AML Program, Know your customer, KYC, Responsible Art Market initiative, H.R. 5886, Luke Messer, OFAC, Office of Foreign Asset Control, Christie's Inc., Illicit Art and Antiquities Trafficking Protection
I was pleased to attend last week in Geneva “Building an Art Market for the Future—Guidelines for Countering Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Threats” hosted by the Fondation pour le Droit d’Art (Art Law Foundation) and the Art Law Centre of the University of Geneva. The conference was the official launch of the Responsible Art Market initiative, and offered valuable, market-focused discussion about the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing in the art market. Refreshingly, the day’s panel discussions focused on best practices and goals, rather than the oft-heard lamentations about problems with the art market. The implicit point that came through was a powerful one: as both private sellers and law enforcement speakers explained, art dealers are not engaged in large-scale shadowy financial dealings. But art dealers and buyers are at serious risk of being used by criminals engaged in money laundering, which can have serious consequences. Because willful blindness is no defense, the conference and the initiative provided valuable practical advice.
Topics: Geneva, Fondation pour le Droit d’Art, Art Law Foundation, University of Geneva, Art Law Centre, Responsible Art Market initiative, Pierre Gabus, Sandrine Giroud, Anne Laure Bandle, Mathilde Heaton, Switzerland, Art Dealers Association of Switzerland, Luxembourg, AML, Ursula Cassani, Money laundering, Terrorist financing, Sylvia Furrer Hoffmann, Stiftung Kunsthalle, Bern, Ricardo Sansoletti, Simon Studer, Jean-Bernard Schmid, Ralph Wyss, Deloitte, Rakhi Talwar