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Droit De Suite

Volume 590: debated on Tuesday 9 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether their support for artists includes support for

droit de suite; and, if not, why not. [HL2103]

The Government are opposed to the introduction of droit de suite into the United Kingdom. It would damage the international competitiveness of the London art market and lead to the displacement of sales from London to places where the right does not exist.Studies made by my department estimate that British auctioneers and dealers could lose earnings of up to £68 million per year, involving up to 5,000 job losses, whereas at best (assuming no displacement of sales and no drop in prices) artists from across the EU could expect royalties of around £9.8 million. Of this, British artists' would probably get no more than £2 million. The majority probably would get little if anything: in France 75 per cent. of the royalties go to just five families—mainly the heirs of Picasso.The Government cannot support a proposal where the potential costs far outweigh the potential benefits.