Thursday, October 30, 2014   

French lawmakers tussle over proposed art tax
(10-16 19:00)

The French government promised to block a budget amendment introducing a wealth tax on art, following a storm of protest from leading museums including the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre.
“The government's position is quite clear. art works will not be included in the assets liable for wealth taxation,'' Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told Europe 1 radio, after art world heavyweights sounded the alarm.
The French parliament's finance committee last week adopted an amendment, tabled by a member of the ruling Socialist Party, that would expand the assets covered by the ISF wealth tax to include art worth 50,000 euros (HK$504,371) or more.
Art works have been exempted from the ISF since it was created in 1982.
The measure is now to go before the full parliament as it starts examining the 2013 budget, which aims to save 36.9 billion euros, much of it through massive cuts in public spending.
Faced with an uproar from art circles fearing a blow to the French market, Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti had voiced her strong opposition to the move, which even if voted in parliament needs government backing to become law.
But this was not enough to reassure the art world.
In a letter dated October 12, the heads of seven of France's top museums and cultural institutions wrote to Filippetti warning her the amendment was a threat to their prized collections.
Bruno Racine of the French National Library, Henri Loyrette of the Louvre, Catherine Pegard of the Chateau de Versailles, Alain Seban of the Pompidou Centre, Guy Cogeval of the Orsay Museum, Stephane Martin of the Quai Branly museum and Jean-Paul Cluzel of the Grand Palais) co-signed the letter.
“A new threat hangs over our duties, our ability to enrich our collections and to bring public and private artworks to the greatest number,'' they wrote.
“There are reasons to fear that taxing art works will dissuade their owners from loaning them, for fear they will be identified.''
Taxing art works, they warned, could also drive their owners to sell them abroad, leading to “the disappearance of historic collections, transmitted from generation to generation.’’
“The French public would be the first to suffer,'' they warned.
The row comes just days ahead of Paris' FIAC contemporary art fair, which brings 182 international galleries together under the vaults of the Grand Palais from this Thursday to Sunday.
   
Other World breaking news:
Saudi beheads man for murder (1 hr 42 mins ago)
Rights groups slam Singapore court ruling on anti-gay law (1 hr 52 mins ago)
Billionaires' US$10m gift to Yale stirs debate in China (10-30 12:47)
Africans in New York complain of Ebola stigma (10-30 11:23)
Funeral museum rises again in death-fixated Vienna (10-30 11:22)
Toronto snubs mainland Confucius group (10-30 11:22)
US theaters advised to ban 'smart' watches and glasses (10-30 11:06)
One dead as fighter plane crashes in California (10-30 11:05)
Singapore's top court upholds anti-gay law (10-29 18:56)
Italian sex abuse priest hangs himself in sacristy (10-29 18:49)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.