by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Annika Backe
November 3, 2016 – Whoever thought that the new German Law on the Protection of Cultural Property coming into effect would bring a rest in the fight for a sharpening-up of state control of the import and export of cultural goods, is mistaken. At present, the European Union tries to tighten import regulations, applying EU-wide.
To this end, the European Commission is conducting a public consultation on rules on the import of cultural goods since October 28, 2016. Invited to participate are individual citizens, enterprises, NGOs, academics, public authorities, international organizations, and others. The questionnaire is not at all without any fixed expectations for the desired answers can be deduced from the “Objective of the consultation”: “The European Commission, responding to numerous calls for action from the other EU institutions and several national governments is considering to adopt measures that will counter the illicit trafficking in cultural goods from third countries more effectively. … This public consultation aims to gather input from all interested stakeholders to be taken into consideration in the preparation of legislative proposals by the European Commission.”
To assist all EU citizens to express their opinion in a fair and equitable manner, the contributions can only be made through a prepared form which is currently only available in English. This is rather funny, considering that Great Britain is about the leave the EU soon, making the English antiques’ market the big winner of this legislation.
If any EU bureaucrat still wonders why the citizens of Great Britain voted against the EU, he should simply ask himself if a consultation of some institution which cares for the view of the ones questioned, can look different.
However, every single opinion counts, to make it clear to EU bureaucracy that hundreds of thousands of collectors and dealers in the entire EU certainly have their own point of view regarding the import of cultural goods.
You can get to the online consultation here.
To think your answers over in advance, you can also download it as a PDF file.
Here you can read the official introduction.
Please write the ones responsible an email, to tell them what you think about a document that is only available in English.
You can also take this as an opportunity to point out that that the claims that terrorism receives significant funding from the illegal trade in antiquities have long been debunked. According to independent studies, the profit in this area is negligible.
You may forward to a summary provided by the IADAA.