Public consultation – privately

March 5, 2012 – The European Union is conducting a public consultation largely unknown whether the directives on the return of cultural property need restrictions. Please join absolutely in this consultation today. Even the associations concerned came to know of this consultation only on Friday March 2, 2012.
Hence we are all under pressure of time. Please join absolutely in this consultation today. The deadline expires today, March 5, 2012.

Unfortunately the questionnaire offers no possibility to join in this consultation anonymously. If you want to prevent thieves dropping in at your’s because they might show interest in your collection, refuse to agree to the publication of your private data. As collector you are an “interested party” and thus you can give your opinion under this section.

Let’s assume benignantly that the EU wants only to prevent double-point information.

However it is highly alarming to read at the same time the question whether the involved person purchases regularly art objects abroad. For what purpose is that information needed, particularly being compulsory? Many participants will ask themselves whether their address will be stored for future enquiries. Certainly many collectors will not answer to the questionnaire simply because of this one question, nevertheless the topic is close to their hearts. Just another hint to the fact that this so-called “public consultation” does not aim to evaluate the real situation.

Do you think that the European Union should help EU countries to protect their cultural goods? – What kind of an ambiguous question! An effective protection on location is required but of course the European Union does not interfere with the internal affairs of member countries. Or have you ever heard of offering assistance to show Italy how to prevent valuable monuments from collapsing, or to give the financial means to Greece needed to guard its museums and archaeological sites? The question is only about restricted directives at the expense of collectors.
And the certificate of origin that does not exist! This question alone shows clearly from what idea the questionnaire was born.

And this is the second ambiguous question: a law that opens the floodgates to sequestration is bad. However, until now the courts have imposed the burden of proof on the accuser. Hence the laws are “generally adequate”. No collector, no dealer, no museum can wish the directives to become more restrictive and the owner of a coin has to take the burden of proof to show that his coin comes from an old collection.

Yes, our laws protect stolen property but obligate the owner at the same time to have knowledge of his property.

Today is the last opportunity to give your opinion on this behalf. Seize the opportunity!

The link to the questionnaire you can find here.
On the top you can choose the language in which you want to compile the questionnaire.

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