UNESCO Global Report

2015gr-cover-en_0

Sounds wonderful, until we encounter the problem of tax barriers against artists trying to exhibit their work at international shows. In France (UNESCO Headquarter) customs recently charged an artist friend of mine VAT (based on the insurance value) on the return of her own artwork, which she had shown (and hand-carried there) in San Francisco. Not an isolated case – other artists had encountered the same problem!

gmr1-goals_0
above image opens the report PDF file ▲

So much for Goal 2:

ACHIEVE A BALANCED FLOW OF CULTURAL GOODS AND SERVICES AND INCREASE THE MOBILITY OF ARTISTS AND CULTURAL PROFESSIONALS.

My own 2 cents worth:

Are we living on the same planet as the UNESCO  officials? Reality looks quite different in the real world.  

When the document Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials, with Annexes A to E and Protocol annexed 1950 was signed, the main barrier then were customs duties. Since works of art are now duty-free according to that agreement, taxes have risen dramatically, and VAT charged in many countries these days for artwork (crossing their borders) can be seen as usurious taxes not unlike medieval robber barons, not to mention what happened to several artists as described above. VAT is supposed to be a sales tax, so why on earth are they trying to collect VAT at the border if no sale took place, if you are only exhibiting the work and worse, if you are having your own work sent back to you!

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~ by ottorapp on February 24, 2016.

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