In the state Duma there was a scandal round the law on export of cultural values

The scandal in the state Duma

Around the package of amendments to the law on the import and export of cultural values, which significantly simplify rules of transportation of works of art abroad, a scandal erupted. Against the bill were made by the representatives of the state Duma Committee on culture.

The Chairman of the Committee on culture Elena Drapeko (“Fair Russia”) during the discussion of the agenda of the lower house Wednesday morning 8 June, proposed to remove the bill from consideration. “Today the State Duma will attempt to hack the security system of our national culture,” said Drapeko. According to her, the amendments of deputies, headed by Makarov, according to Drapeko, involve “virtually uncontrolled export from Russia works of art, collections and national heritage with the age less than 100 years.”

Amendments may 17, 2016 submitted to the state Duma the Chairman of Committee of the lower house budget Andrey Makarov and the Chairman of the Committee on culture Ekaterina Kuzmicheva (imagine the “United Russia”). Later sponsors of the bill have six deputies from “United Russia”. The government review of the bill in the state Duma did not arrive yet.

3 Jun Makarov, the Committee approved the amended version of the bill. The Committee Drapeko co — contractor on this initiative — gave a negative opinion.

At the plenary session on Wednesday, colleagues Drapeko her call did not listen and sent the bill on the floor of the lower house, scheduled for the second half of the day.

Movable property

The package of amendments involve a change in the law on export and import of cultural values, the Customs code (CC) and the Code of administrative offences (Cao). The amendments weaken the state control over the movement of artwork through the Russian border. Under the current legislation, permission to export cultural goods from the country’s need to obtain the Ministry of culture, export of antiquities, which was created over 100 years ago, is prohibited.

The authors of the bill believe that changes to the sphere of transportation of values is necessary, as the contemporary Russian art market is in a very difficult position: major galleries and private museums close, new collections are created at international fairs virtually no contemporary art from Russia.

The bill introduces a new definition of “cultural value”: movable property (goods, objects) of historic, artistic, scientific or other cultural significance. The amendment proposes to exempt from customs duties non-state museums in the import and export of works of art. Now fees not only pay state and municipal museums.

Another innovation is the division of all cultural values into two groups: created over 100 years ago and created less than 100 years ago. The export of works of culture older than 100 years will be possible on the basis of a special certificate, which will give the Ministry of culture.

Before leaving the office will have to conduct the examination of works of art. The examination can only be carried out licenzirovanie specialists, whose data will be entered in a public registry, proposed.

Permissions for objects of antiquity under 100 years old will produce a competent government body of Executive power, which is to be determined. Harmonization of export should not exceed 10 days from the date of submission of the application. Refuse removal the government will be able only in case, if the government decides to purchase the exported value. The departments that will be responsible for the export of works of art, will prescribe maintain registers values that are older and younger than 100 years.

The position of the critics

Her disagreement with the amendments Makarov and his supportive group of deputies of the state Duma Committee on culture expressed in the negative conclusion on the bill. If the bill is approved, it will be possible “to take out almost uncontrollably” from Russia the best works of the Russian avant-garde, the works of Soviet artists 1920-1930-ies, masters of socialist realism, other works of Soviet art and unofficial art of the 1950s and 1960s, the authors conclude the conclusion.

The division of responsibility for the import and export values between the two Federal agencies will lead to opacity of governance, excessive state regulation and additional costs of the budget, according to deputies.

Duplication of functions on control over the import and export of cultural property between the two agencies, the legislators from the Committee on culture considered unreasonable. Cultural values, they explain, can be items regardless of whether they are older or younger than 100 years, and to determine the time of the creation of some of them is still impossible, argue the MPs.

In addition, the document suggests a serious spending budget, said Drapeko: money will be needed primarily on the creation of registries of cultural values and experts, learning the latest and issuance of licenses, as well as creation of special Department, which will deal with the control over the export and import values under 100 years. Initially this body was to be Rosarchiv, says Drapeko, but representatives of Department additional responsibilities not want to take, and from the law mention of the office disappeared.

Medina also against

According to Drapeko, against the bill was made by the Ministry of culture. The office of Vladimir Medinsky sent a draft negative feedback on a bill in the state Duma Committee on the budget, the government has this review not been approved.

The discontent of the Ministry of culture the bill Makarova confirms the Vice-President of the international Confederation of antique and art dealers (MKAAD) Mikhail Perchenko. According to him, recently the Ministry of culture held a meeting of collectors and Museum staff, who were unanimous in condemning the innovations of deputies. The Ministry of culture refused to comment.

“Take the proposal to create registers of cultural values, how they imagine it? The country annually imports 1.5 million cultural values, and officially exported about 100 thousand, all this to introduce registry is simply impossible”, — said Perchenko.

Against the bill was and Advisor to the President of Russia on culture Vladimir Tolstoy.”The previous version (of the bill) we gave a negative opinion, it is almost a “green corridor” for the export values,” said Tolstoy, “RIA Novosti”.

The law was developed primarily in order to give a possible Russian businessmen gathered the collection of works of Russian art — under the current legislation make it impossible, says Drapeko.

With the fact that the bill has specific interested parties, and agree Perchenko. According to him, the bill was created for collectors of Russian art of the early XX century, which the world values most. “For example: now in the Pushkin Museum holds an exhibition of léon Bakst. His paintings are worth from 500 thousand up to $ 10 million, the price works Larionova varies from 200 thousand to $ 3 million”, — said the expert.