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Vaizey promises action on ARR and ivory: The Art Business Conference

Ed Vaizey at the inaugural Art Business Conference, London

Ed Vaizey speaking at the inaugural Art Business Conference, London. Photo: © www.bogdanmaran.com

Ed Vaizey, UK minister of state for culture and the digital economy, said on Thursday that the UK government is reviewing its position on the Artist’s Resale Right.

Speaking at the inaugural Art Business Conference in Westminster, Vaizey said that the government’s review of the balance of competencies between the UK and EU will ‘take into account the ARR’.

The ARR provides for European artists to receive payment when their work is resold. Vaizey highlighted that it also carries an administrative cost per transaction of about £40.

Though he stopped short of promising any change to the UK’s position on the right, he assured delegates that the government would take the issue seriously.

And on the US ivory ban, which prohibits the commercial import of all elephant ivory into the US (with very limited exceptions), Vaizey said it was important ‘to distinguish between the traffic of illegal ivory and the legitimate trade in antiques which contain ivory.’

Vaizey said the government ‘will continue to liaise with the US’ on the issue, but that it is important to recognise that this is not a one-way debate. ‘I will support the industry in term of its legitimate concerns,’ he said.

Other panels at the conference covered social media in the arts, including a provocative presentation from social media consultant Cathy Ma; as well as what constitutes ‘distance selling’ for the purposes of EU law, how to break into the Chinese art world, and the developing art finance market.

The Art Business Conference took place at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, London, on Thursday 4 September.

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