Artist's resale right

January 18 2016


Here in the UK we have (courtesy of the EU) a law called the Artist's Resale Right. This means that every time you buy a painting sold by an artist who died within the last 70 years, you have to pay their designated heirs a commission. The idea is that the heirs should have a share in the 'success' of their artistic ancestor. Imagine doing the same for the architect of your house, or the fellow who made your car, and you can see what a silly thing this is. But perhaps the silliest aspect of all is that when, recently, I bought a picture from the heirs of a well-regarded modern British artist - who had already benefited from the rise in value of their father's work - I had to pay them ARR on top too!

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