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FEAGA, which met in Basel on June 17, also wants the derogation enjoyed by the UK, Netherland, Austria, Malta and Ireland, to be extended to other European Union members states. It would mean limiting payments to living artists and excluding the estates of artists, such as Picasso and Matisse, who have been dead for less than 70 years.

The call follows hot on the heels of the Commission’s U-turn – reported on last week’s front page – in which they announced that they would ignore their legal commitment and delay the impact study they should have published, under the terms of their own directive, by the beginning of 2009.

The decision to delay the study until all member states have adopted the Resale Right in full has angered members of the trade who believe that the damage will have been done by the time any study is presented.

“Unless the EU acts now, Europe will continue to lose out to countries such as the US, Switzerland and China as a centre for the sale of 20th century art. And once this important market is lost, it will take many decades to recover,” said a FEAGA statement.

“FEAGA is therefore calling on the European Commission to:

• begin work on the study, as legally required by the directive; and

• extend the derogation for works by deceased artists in time and to other Members States to ensure that Europe can remain competitive.”