Newsletters (March 2018 CINOA Newsletter)



Dear Colleagues,
I have long believed, wrongly as it turns out, that the art and antiques business was the last unregulated business on the planet. Anyone can call themselves an art or antiques dealer, no requirements need apply. But I am, as usual, incorrect. The news industry is also unregulated and there are more (e.g. Cambridge Analytica) but I would like to concentrate on the news industry. The American President has popularized the term FAKE NEWS and, in a sense, he is absolutely correct. There is a great deal of fake news out there, the question is, which is real and which is fake? Since virtually all news is biased, can you believe what a conservative says if you are a liberal or vice-versa?
Truth is more malleable than we are taught to believe when we were young. It can be turned and twisted and made less believable. I recently watched a video forum on ivory that featured several NGO representatives and Martin Levy of Blairman, a third-generation antiques dealer. Martin is reasonable and polite, as were the two NGO representatives, but Martin's point that there are shades of gray to the debate was totally overshadowed by the demand for saving elephants and that any trading of any ivory be banned. Access to video:
This is the world we are facing. If you are a high-end art dealer, you are liable to be part of some money laundering deal. If you are an antiquities dealer, you are assuredly not checking provenance properly and likely making money for terrorists. Your guilt transcends all of us by association as well, as the NY District Attorney so readily pointed out when raiding TEFAF in NYC last October, potentially ruining all of the dealers openings, not just the dealer that was targeted, inappropriately, I might add. And that unregulated business of news is making mince-meat of our trade by sensationalizing these unfounded assertions.
Of course there are sensible journalists. There are also bad things happening out there. Hobby Lobby, an American firm creating a Bible museum in Washington, D.C., bought items smuggled out of Iraq that were in the U.A.E. Why didn't they buy from dealers in the IADAA? Why don't journalists point out that there are organizations that want to not only follow the law but wish to create smart laws? That is the point. CINOA wants to be part of the solution. We need your help.
All the best,
Clinton Howell
President of CINOA


As you will know, CINOA has been taking a much more active role in recent months on the European stage to influence international policy. In particular, we have been addressing the crucial issue of proposed legislation on the import of cultural goods to the European Union and the proposed amendments to the EU Anti-Money Laundering legislation. Although EU proposals, these will have an impact on all global markets that do business with EU member states.
We have now retained the services of the Brussels-based public affairs consultancy Lighthouse Europe, which specialises in European strategy, to advise us and ensure that our concerns about the proposed legislation are heard. To read more, see our latest alert New EU measures threaten to damage the art trade on March 19th sent to those on our Legislation Updates mailing list:
Please contact Erika Bochereau,, regarding any or all of the above.


This joint EU-UNESCO conference aim was to enhance the capacity of EU States and representatives from the private art market sector to protect cultural property within and beyond its borders.
The conference was organized in the framework of “Engaging the European art market in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property”. The project particularly aims at reinforcing due diligence conducted in the European art trade while sensitizing relevant stakeholders to the different implications of illicit trafficking of cultural property – from the consequences regarding the protection of cultural heritage to terrorism financing and money laundering.
CINOA's presentation focused on the need for accurate facts and figures, the damage the illicit trafficking of cultural property inflicts on the reputation of the legitimate trade and the need for the authorities to involve the trade in finding solutions. A more detailed report will be available shortly.
Dear CINOA Dealer,

RubyLUX is proud to partner with CINOA. This partnership aims to advance the art and antiques industry by providing you with the exceptional online tools that RubyLUX has built to increase your business, and will continue to grow. We believe that you are the only one who can decide what is right for your business. Please browse through the site and contact with any questions.

Best regards,
NOTE: All the information in this newsletter is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. Please note that most excerpts come from the original publication and any credit must go to the author of the publication, not to CINOA. Any views or opinions expressed in the excerpts and/or articles belong solely to the author of the publication.

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