Global Perspective on Foreign Trade in the Works of Art
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The paper discusses the problem of international trade in art. The works of art are very specific objects of international trade, because – recognised as cultural goods and part of the national heritage - they are protected against export. Most countries of the world have laws that protect their cultural property. The legal regulations concern different types of the works of art and apply different instruments of art export controls. The paper discusses the import and export of art worldwide. The analysis is based on OECD international trade data Harmonised System 1996 (ITCS International Trade by Commodities Statistics) on the import and export of the works of art (section 97) in the recent years. The relations between export and import are also analysed. On the basis of the collected data it would be possible to identify the countries which have a significant share in the international trade in art. Special attention is given to foreign trade in art in European Community countries as well as in the United States. The UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland are discussed in the European context, while Japan, China, Hong Kong give insights into the Asian environment, with Canada and Mexico representing the Americas and Australia.