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New York museums set for ban on art auctions

New York museums set for ban on art auctions

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New York lawmakers are introducing a bill to protect existing art collections from becoming victims of the hard financial times.

New York state lawmakers introduced a bill this week that would make it illegal for museums to sell off collections to raise money as endowment losses begin to bite into cultural institutions’ operating expenses. The proposal is designed to toughen current regulations on “de-accessioning,” which is the legal process governing how cultural institutions, trade, sell, or dispose of their collections. The process is enforced by the state’s board of regents, which oversees educational activities for New York state. State Senator Richard Brodsky, a co-sponsor of the bill that could set a legal precedent if enacted, said it came at the behest of the museum community and was drafted with the support of the Museum Association of New York. The bill would permit museums to sell collections only if the proceeds could be used for acquisitions or for the preservation, protection and care of works in the collection. – From Wealth Bulletin