Versailles' pre-emption

September 29 2016

Image of Versailles' pre-emption

Picture: ATG

In France, museums can 'pre-empt' pictures they want to acquire. This means that if somethings appears at auction, the museum can immediately announce after the hammer has fallen that it will take ownership of the work. The sale price is paid by the institution. But of course, because it did not have to bid, the price is lower than it otherwise would be in an open market. Good for the French state, bad for the private owner. 

The latest case of pre-emption, reports the Antiques Trade Gazette, is in Versailles, where the palace has acquired the above painting of its orangery by Hubert Robert.

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