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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, January 03, 2005

Guardian of the Art Market

Well what can you say; the Guardian has a criticism of the EU courtesy of Max Hastings. It is a typical tale of incompetence and ignorance of the market, and the way in which the worse examples are chosen as the harmonised standards.
If our rulers wanted to accomplish one small, useful and achievable thing in the next 363 days, they would address the EU's droit de suite directive. Never heard of it? It represents the sort of bureaucratic folly which gives the union a bad name.
The measure will give artists, and their descendants for 70 years after their deaths, claims upon a levy imposed every time one of their works is resold. Very fair, some will say. Yet in practice, it will simply cause owners of contemporary art to send works for sale in markets where the levy is not applied, notably Switzerland and the US.
Not only is it a terrible idea from a market point of view, but it fails horrible to reach its supposed objective.
It chiefly benefits not impoverished living artists, but the relations of rich dead ones.
Living artists of course benefit from rising value of their artwork, by being able to sell more. Dead artists are unlikely to be incentivised to work harder through more royalties.
The commission expressed a pious expectation that other countries, including the US and Switzerland, would see justice, and impose a levy of their own. Amazingly, they show no sign of doing so.
Seeing as most of Europe’s leaders spent the 1980’s campaigning for unilateral nuclear disarmament in the belief that the Soviets would respond likewise, such an ignorant point of view does not surprise me.
This is the sort of measure which puts a song into the heart of every Eurosceptic. It is a Brussels intervention which will demonstrably level a market down, not up.
This is one sentence I do not agree with. This is the kind of measure that drives me insane with anger and frustration. It is a propaganda godsend, but we get no pleasure from the EU wrecking our economy, that is why we are Eurosceptics. And finally:
The obvious course is to delay implementation of the directive until major players outside the EU are willing to join in imposing a levy. Such action would merely acknowledge the reality of the global marketplace. This, of course, is exactly what EU flat-earthers often seem tragically unwilling to do.
I hope the term EU Flat Earther has not been copyrighted. It is such a great description of the Little Europers, whose refusal to acknowledge the world outside their little continent is the source of most of their stupidity.

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