Will Germany stop the sale of high-quality violins?

The German Culture Minister Monika Grütters has proposed a law that will prohibit the export of cultural artefacts valued at more than €150,000 ($165,900) and older than 50 years without a special government license.

The law is furiously opposed by the German fine-art market, which faces wipeout. We’re seeking clarification as to whether it will – as it appears – also include valuable musical instruments.

You don’t get much in the way of pedigree violins for €150,000. Many German musicians will be unable to sell their pedigree Italian or French instruments abroad.

Monika Grütters

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  • You misinterpret the proposed law. The intention is not to forbid the export of these assets of world cultural heritage. The intention of the law is to CONTROL these exports.
    A sensible balance has to be found between the protection of private property and the protection of world cultural heritage.
    I personally lean to – if in doubt – slightly overweighing the aspect of protection of world cultural heritage.
    The 50 year limit btw is already an addendum in response to the previous proposal, after LIVING artists protested that they would lose their ability to freely sell their oeuvre world wide.

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