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German Cultural Minister Tones Down Controversial Cultural Property Bill

Germany’s ministry of culture has put out a new draft of the proposed cultural property bill that had many artists and collectors up in arms, according to Julia Michalska in the Art Newspaper. In a previous version of the legislation published earlier in the summer, paintings older than fifty years and valued at over $170,000 would require export licenses, even for transport within the EU.

Artist Georg Baselitz had removed some of his work from German museums, and Gerhard Richter had threatened to pull art as well, saying “No one has the right to tell me what to do with my work,” according to The Independent.

In the new version of the bill, only works valued at over $340,000 and over seventy years old will now be subject to export license requirements. Perhaps in an attempt to appease ongoing fears, the cultural ministry said that licenses will continue to be issued “within a few days in almost all cases.”