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2 February 2018 | Building an Art Market 2.0

The Responsible Art Market Initiative presented its Artwork Due Diligence Toolkit followed by two panels on due diligence and technology in the art market. The conference took place on the premises of artgeneve in Geneva.  Anne Laure Bandle moderated the panel "Inside art transaction due diligence. Demystifying the myth" including:

• Heidi Amrein, Chief curator, Swiss National Museum

• Thomas Belohlavek, Director, Axa Art

• Emilie Mermillod, Director, Seydoux & Associés Fine Art SA

• Johannes Nathan, Director, Nathan Fine Art and Board Member of the Swiss Art Trading Association

• Freya Stewart, CEO Art Lending and General Counsel, The Fine Art Group

Due diligence lies at the heart of every art transaction. Ideally, no sale, exhibition, financing, or insurance is made without prior verifications on a work’s authenticity, ownership title, origin of the funds, and so on. Overall, the due diligence process, when done properly, can be tedious, frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. Yet it is a necessary prerequisite to a well-planned transaction. It helps to ensure that the art will retain its value and provides collectors, museums and art businesses with confidence in their appreciation of the work.

Especially in times where information on provenance and authenticity is increasingly documented and made accessible via online databases and catalogues, the higher the expectations the law might have as regards to the extent of verifications art businesses and buyers must conduct before entering into a transaction. This is even more so true where statutory law has introduced new legal risks such as recently in Switzerland through the implementation of new provisions in the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

The art market involves a web of actors, each of which are exposed to specific risks. As a result, they have adopted due diligence processes that are tailored to their needs. When creating the RAM Art Transaction Due Diligence Toolkit, we benefited from their input and experience of the market, in an attempt to improve this tool. I was very pleased to be chairing this first panel of experts who shared with us the importance and challenges of art market due diligence from their professional perspective.

More information on the Responsible Art Market Initiative is available here.


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