Italian export laws - an overhaul?

September 28 2015

Image of Italian export laws - an overhaul?

Picture: TAN

In The Art Newspaper, Ermanno Rivetti reports that the Italian government is being lobbied to change the laborious procedures for exporting works of art from Italy. At the moment, any painting of any value, even if it's just €1, must apply for an export licence. The idea is that Italy's art trade will get a much needed shot in the arm if reform of things like export laws is undertaken.

Last week, I spotted an interesting picture coming up in an Italian auction, by the Irish artist Hugh Douglas Hamilton. The estimate was just €800. But I gave up trying to book a phone line, for the time and expense of dealing with the auction house's bureacracy (passport, various forms to fill in, and a guarantee to be made that I was prepared to buy the picture at the reserve even before the auction had started), as well as applying for an export licence, meant it just wasn't worth it. 

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