Memorandum submitted by the British Art
The British Art Market Federation (BAMF) represents
The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association; The Antiquities Dealers
Association; Bonhams; The British Antique Dealers' Association;
Christie's; The Fine Art Trade Guild; LAPADA, The Association
of Art and Antique Dealers; Phillips; The Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors; Society of Fine Art Auctioneers; The Society
of London Art Dealers; and Sotheby's.
BAMF gave evidence to the Committee's inquiry, "Cultural
Property: Return and Illicit Trade (1999-2000)". Since the
report of the Committee, BAMF has been involved in a number of
initiatives aimed at the elimination of the illicit trade in cultural
goods. The Federation played a leading part in the Minister for
the Arts' Advisory Panel on Illicit Trade whose report, published
in December 2000, reflected many of the recommendations of the
Committee in its own report (HC371-I (1999-2000)).
BAMF welcomed the Committee's endorsement of the
economic and cultural benefits of the British Art Market (Report
paragraph 25) and deplores the damage that illicit activity can
do to the reputation of the legitimate market. (For statistics
of the British Art Market, see Annex)
If the illicit market is to be eliminated, practical
measures are needed to bear down on those knowingly handling stolen
or looted objects. In its written evidence to the Committee in
1999, BAMF proposed the establishment of a "private or governmental
international database for stolen art". The Committee (Paragraph
54) endorsed this recommendation. The Illicit Trade Advisory Panel
also called for the institution of a database of unlawfully removed
BAMF very much regrets the lack of progress in achieving
this aim, which it considers to be central to the campaign against
the illicit market. The Art Market has played its part by helping
to establish the Art Loss Register, which is regularly consulted
by members of BAMF. However, if the problem of the illicit traffic
in stolen art is to be solved, much greater resources and international
co-operation are needed.
The Illicit Trade Advisory Panel also recommended
the establishment of a comprehensive and universally accessible
database of international legislative information. So far, there
has been no progress on this recommendation.
BAMF continues to believe that these practical measures
would make a significant contribution towards ending the illicit
market in stolen and looted cultural goods.
BAMF would be happy to give oral evidence to the
Committee, if required.
THE BRITISH ART MARKET STATISTICS (2002)
|(a)||Total Art Sales
|(c)||Global market share
|(d)||EU market share||59.7%
|(e)||Ancillary economic generation (advertising and printing, art fairs, conservation, restoration and framing, insurance and security, packing and shipping, professional services and technology)
|Total Number of Businesses||Total Employees
||Total Sales (£ millions)|
|Total Imports from non EU Countries||£1,892 million
|Total Exports to non EU Countries||£2,289 million
In the period 1998-2001 the UK's share of the global market increased
by 1.6%. The EU as a whole experienced a decline in global market
share of 7.2%. In the same period, the US's market share increased
(Sources: (1) (2) and (4) The European Art Market
2002 Report prepared by Kusin & Company for The European
Fine Art Foundation.
(3)UK Overseas Trade Statistics, analysed by Antiques Trade
Gazette, August 2003).