Friday, 14 August 2015

For preserving the right to privately collect

The backlash against Germany's proposed cultural property law is unprecedented. As of this morning, the international petition against the implementation of the law has 16,946 "signatures", including 5,810 from outside of Germany. Even the latter figure exceeds the responses on the recent US State Departments efforts to restrict cultural imports. At that time, only the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild had an organized protest. All interests are making themselves heard in Germany:

Proposed Law Regulating Art Sales Would Destroy German Art Market Experts Say

German Billionaire Threatens to Move His Collection to US Because of Controversial Heritage Law

He Wasn't Bluffing: Georg Baselitz Takes Back His Works From German Museums

It soon became very obvious that the US State Department's public response mechanism was only to give an impression that the public's concerns were taken into consideration. Despite protests in the 70-80% range, none of the public's concerns were even mentioned by the US State Department. Will Germany reveal a more publicly responsive government? I remember many years ago hearing how during economic distress, German "downsizing" always started from the top, cutting those big executive salaries and positions, while most of the world would cut from the bottom up, preserving the wealth at the top while taking the jobs from those who might be living from payday to payday.

Currently, Germany is at number 13 in the Democracy Index (The U.K. is 16 and the US is 19) The top ten democracies in the world are (in order from top to bottom): Norway, Sweden, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Finland, Australia, Netherlands.

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