Paris court challenges Resale Right practice

March 30 2017

Image of Paris court challenges Resale Right practice

Picture: via Wikipedia

In Paris, a court has ruled that the way in which 'Droit de Suite' is operated must change. The law, known in the UK as the Artist's Resale Right (ARR), gives artists and their estate a small commission each time a work is resold. The French introduced the law in the late 19thCentury, partly in response to the sudden rise in value of Jean-Francois Millet's work (above) after his death. An artist's family or estate can earn this royalty for 70 years. Until now, the fee has always been charged onto the buyer by dealers and auction houses. But the court has ruled that it should be paid instead by the vendor. 

This opens up the prospect of many thousands of sales being re-worked, or the buyers being refunded. For if you bought a picture and paid the fee, but now wish to sell it, you will be obliged as a vendor to pay it again. 

Whether this change will spread to other countries, I don't know. In the UK the dealing and auction community is hopeful that the ARR will no longer be used after Brexit. It was introduced here after an EU directive in 2001. 

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.