The Swiss Art Market Association (SAMA) is the umbrella organisation for four art trade associations (Art Galleries Switzerland, Swiss Association of Dealers in Antiques and Art, Swiss Auctioneers Association and Swiss Art Trading Association). It works to protect the interests of members of the Swiss art market in dealings with authorities, associations, private individuals and the media. The SAMA strives for a political and legal dialogue that is open to the unique features of the art market. It therefore plays an active role in shaping cultural legislation and policy – with the aim of ensuring that Switzerland can preserve its status in the art market.

Beyond purely economic interests, it is also important to the SAMA to highlight the cultural importance of the work done by members of the individual associations. The health of all aspects of its art trade remains a driving force for Switzerland as an active cultural centre: its expertise plays a key role in the discovery and promotion of artists, in public exhibitions and appearances at art fairs, in collaborations with museums and art spaces, publications and communication with collectors, and also in the support of estates and archives.

Current

Newsletter FOC

The Federal Office of Culture FOC has been providing information on the latest developments in federal support measures regarding COVID-19 crisis via newsletter (German version) since March 31 2021.

Indemnities for cultural enterprises

Find here (German version) a guide to indemnities for cultural enterprises with a focus on the brokerage activities of galleries and art dealers with gallery businesses.

 

 

The impact of COVID-19 on the Gallery Sector

Find here a report with latest figures and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on the global sector of modern and contemporary galleries.

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Organization

Management

Dr. Andreas Ritter,
Attorney at Law

Secretary's office

MLaw Riana Gasser

Dossiers

Copyright

The SAMA is committed to ensuring that copyright legislation reflects the interests of all art market participants, even in the digital age. It has been successfully argued that the introduction of the so-called resale right ("droit de suite") would have significantly more negative effects on the art marketplace. The advantage of foregoing this additional levy when selling a work of art on the secondary market benefits all participants, including the artists. The SAMA continues to participate in current discussions with the IPI (Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property), the FOC (Federal Office of Culture), ProLitteris, etc., on topics such as "Appropriation Art" or "Photographic Image Protection", and informs its members about the state of legislation and practice in the course of the digital transformation.

Money Laundering

The SAMA is promptly following the problematic European development of an increasing tightening of the money laundering guidelines also in the art market and is trying to exert influence in order to prevent a legislative formulation of drastically tightened rules by informing about the reality of the profession of art and antiques trading. Galleries and dealers cannot be treated the same as banks. The aim is to establish a pragmatically understood due diligence in the purchase and sale of works that is adapted to the circumstances. For this reason, the SAMA is actively working on self-regulatory measures by the individual associations and is holding talks with various players such as ArtBasel, the RAM (Responsible Art Market) initiative from Geneva, but above all with the federal administration. After the COVID crisis, the aim must be to stop introducing legislative projects that generate new burdens for market participants.

Transfer of Cultural Goods

The SAMA is in discussion with customs and VAT authorities, with warehouse keepers, transporters, insurers and other players in the industry. Half-truths are to be countered by transparent information about the current customs and tax legislation. Work should be done to ensure that future adjustments, especially to VAT legislation, reflect the realities of the various transactions in the art market. In times after the pandemic, talk of reducing bureaucracy will finally have to be translated into action. The SAMA also intends to advocate for tax models to encourage the acquisition of works of art in the near future.

Looted Art

The SAMA is committed to ensuring that copyright legislation reflects the interests of all art market participants, even in the digital age. It has been successfully argued that the introduction of the so-called resale right ("droit de suite") would have significantly more negative effects on the art marketplace. The advantage of foregoing this additional levy when selling a work of art on the secondary market benefits all participants, including the artists. The SAMA continues to participate in current discussions with the IPI (Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property), the FOC (Federal Office of Culture), ProLitteris, etc., on topics such as "Appropriation Art" or "Photographic Image Protection", and informs its members about the state of legislation and practice in the course of the digital transformation.

Value Added Tax

The SAMA actively participates in international conferences on the topics of looted art and provenance research and collaborates with experts in these fields. At the same time, an exchange is maintained with the FOC's specialist unit on this topic and enquiries from interested parties are also answered on an ongoing basis. Here, too, it has been noted to the Federal Administration that the involvement of the trade in provenance research projects is desirable, but must also be compensated.

Art Market

The SAMA is following the development of the market very closely in various digitisation projects (on topics such as money laundering and provenance research, authenticity issues). In this transformation of the art market, which according to COVID-19 has experienced an incredible acceleration, the SAMA also wants to take a leading role for the association members and offer assistance so that smaller businesses are not denied access to digital business models. The SAMA is also in talks with the FOC and ProHelvetia about models for supporting Swiss galleries and art dealers who present projects by Swiss artists at art fairs in Switzerland and abroad in post-COVID times.

Beyond purely economic interests, the SAMA wants to highlight the cultural significance of the work of the members of the four art trade associations. An intact art trade is still a driving force for a vital cultural location in Switzerland. In order to be able to continue this important work in the future, it is necessary to conduct a dialogue with the political and legal authorities that is not closed to the special features of the art market.

Contact

SAMA

Swiss Art Market Association
Höschgasse 28
P.O. Box 3226
8034 Zurich

info@kunstmarktschweiz.ch
+41 44 269 66 88

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