The draft amendments to the law "threaten the collecting of cultural objects by private individuals" according to the petition, which has currently generated more than 3000 signatories.
The changes to the Protection of Cultural Heritage Laws put forward by German culture minister Monika Grütters in July initially would have required all cultural objects valued at €150,000 or more and older than 50 years to be granted an export licence if they are sold to a foreign buyer. The proposals have now been revised to only apply to works older than 70 years and valued at over €300,000.
However, according to the petition, the proposed laws include stipulations which reverse the burden of proof when it comes to objects in legal dispute. The owner of a 'cultural good' with a value of at least €2500 would require proof of the item's provenance over the previous 20 years under the new due diligence guidelines.