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This is about artwork tax bill in France.

Original text from Auction Central News with Japanese translation.


Auction Central Newsから原文と、訳文です。


French government vows to block artwork tax bill


Tuesday, 16 October 2012 11:11


Assemblee nationale

PARIS (AFP) – The French government on Tuesday vowed to block a budget amendment introducing a wealth tax on artworks, following a storm of protest from top museums including the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre.
“The government’s position is quite clear. Artworks 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.

パリ (AFP) – フランス政府は、ルーヴル美術館やポンピドウ・センターなど名だたる美術館からの猛烈な抗議を受け、火曜日に美術品に対する富裕税を導入する予算修正案を阻止することを約束した。

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 or more.
Artworks have been exempted from the ISF since it was created in 1982.
The measure is now to go before the full parliament as it Tuesday starts examining the 2013 budget, which aims to save 36.9 billion euros ($48 billion), much of it through massive cuts in public spending.

フランス国会財政委員会は、先週、与党社会党議員が提出した修正案を採用した。修正案では、裕福連帯税 (ISF)の対象を広げ、5万ユーロ以上の資産価値のある美術品を含めるようにするものだった。

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 Oct. 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 artworks will dissuade their owners from loaning them them, for fear they will be identified.”
Taxing artworks, 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 Oct. 18-21.
“If you want to nip in the bud France’s rebirth as a major art market, this is the best way to go about it,” FIAC director Jennifer Flay warned last week.


Top French art gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin also told AFP the proposed tax would have “grave consequences.”
“Clients will do all they can to express their passion in a more favorable environment,” he said. “Paris would become seriously less attractive. And to the rest of the world, we’d look as if we were crazy.”


Jerome Clement, head of the Piasa auction house, called the measure “totally populist and inapplicable since there is no way to technically evaluate the worth of an artwork.”
“It will encourage fraud, and artworks will leave the country.”
The amendment was intended by its backers as a signal that wealthier citizens are shouldering their share of the burden, as France braces for the impact of the upcoming austerity budget.