The Commissioner for Culture and Media of the German Federal Government is preparing an amendment of the German Act towards the Protection of Cultural Heritage (Kulturgutschutzgesetz; KultgSchG). German news outlets are covering the act’s financial effects on collectors of e.g. valuable paintings. What has hardly been mentioned so far is the fact that all German collectors and dealers specializing in objects starting from EUR 100 (“archaeological objects”) or respectively EUR 2,500 will be affected by the amendment.
Especially new care obligations that can result in imprisonment up to three years or a considerable fine when disregarded make an enormous impact.
The following German outlets and/or offices have commented on the situation:
The “CoinsWeekly” coin journal with an online summary about the act’s content.
The “Die Welt” newspaper publishing a critical article.
The official statement of the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Culture and Media.
One of the office’s main points in the argument is an allegation that the Islamic State would raise funds by trading ancient items. Proof is yet to be found and the claim is probably without reason. The Südwestfunk radio station reported that according to the US American Cultural Attaché in Baghdad the IS is currently looking into trading in antiques. The pictured originals were found to have a value of approximately EUR 2,500 to EUR 3,000 which is hardly enough funds to support a terrorist organization.
The International Association of Dealers in Ancient Objects has already pointed out a few times that rumored numbers which spread throughout the media are false claims.
German dealers in art took a stand against the amendment in an open letter.