Art Market Regulation

I was asked to say a few words at the tail end of a conference organised by the Professional Advisors to the International Art Market (PAIAM).   It is hard to speak at the end of a conference that one hasn’t been able to attend.   But at least I was able to catch the debate as to whether or not the art market would benefit from greater regulation.   The voting before the speeches was very evenly divided – 43 in favour of more regulation, 38 against.   Ludovic de Walden and Bendor Grosvenor spoke against increased regulation.   There are already plenty of rules and regulations that govern the operation of the art market and they can, and have been, reinforced where, as for example in the antiquities market, there is obvious evidence of criminal behaviour.   Robert Hiscox and Corinne Herschkovitch spoke in favour of tougher regulation as has been applied to the City and Lloyds on the grounds that there is plenty of informal evidence of collusion, misattribution and money laundering.   It felt as if there was a consensus in favour of enforcing existing legislation, but wariness of parliament imposing a bureaucratic body which Bendor Grosvenor thought would be called OFART.

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