The release of Clare McAndrew’s report for TEFAF showing that the UK had slipped behind China in art market share set off a series of screeds pointing at Europe’s practice of paying a royalty to artists on resales formally known as the Droit de Suite. Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive of the Design and Artists Copyright Society, responded to some of the vitriol with a well-reasoned riposte in the Financial Times:
There is no evidence to suggest that the full implementation of artists’ resale right will have any impact on China’s ascendancy over the UK art market (“UK art market loses out to ‘phenomenal’ Chinese”, March 15). Since the right was introduced for living artists in 2006, it has accounted for only 0.04 per cent of the total value of the UK art market; when the right is fully implemented so that families and beneficiaries are included, it will still only account for 0.15 per cent of that market.
If the art trade is in such a precarious situation, how then can it justify the significant increases in the buyers’ premium charged by leading auction houses?
Resale Rights Can Help Art Market (Financial Times)