Support the Artist's Resale Right

Call-to-arms for support of the Artist’s Resale Right’s full implementation

Artists and supporters of art are being rallied to support the final implementation of an important Right for artists, their families and beneficiaries. The Artist’s Resale Right will be fully established on 1 January 2012 aligning it with all other EU member states.

DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society) are asking people to sign a petition <> welcoming the final implementation and calling on the UK Government and European Commission to recognise the importance of the Right in supporting artists, their families and beneficiaries.

The Right currently allows visual artists an ongoing stake in the value of their work by paying artists a modest royalty when their works are resold through auction houses, galleries, and art dealers.

The full implementation of the Right will extend this royalty to deceased artists’ families and beneficiaries, providing desperately needed funding for managing an artist’s estate, including the costs of storage, conservation, cataloguing, research, restoration, assessment of provenance, and the identification of fakes.

Since the first stage of implementation in February 2006, DACS has paid more than 2000 artists over £12 million in resale royalties.

Despite fears that the Artist’s Resale Right would divert sales from the UK to countries which do not have an equivalent right, there has been no evidence to support this.  The Right has several mechanisms in place to protect the interests of the art trade including tiered royalty rates ranging from 4% down to 0.25% which are dictated by law, and most significantly, a cap on the royalty an artist can receive on a single sale of €12,500 (approximately £11,000).

Gilane Tawadros, Chief Executive of DACS says: “There are far greater costs associated with selling works of art that dwarf the impact of the resale right. When Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man I sold for £58 million in the UK in February 2010, it earned £7 million in buyer’s premium for the auction house. Compare this to the £2.4 million in resale royalties which were generated by the entire UK art market during the whole of 2010.”

About the Artist’s Resale Right
The Artist’s Resale Right was introduced in February 2006 and entitles artists to a royalty each time their work changes hands through an auction house or gallery. The Right successfully balances the interests of artists with the interests of the art trade and recognises the on-going stake an artist has in the economic value of their work.

27th July 2011

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