NY Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Protect Art Authenticators

Here’s a great overview, via Frankfurt Kurnit, of the New York State bill (S.6794/A.9016) (the “Bill”) that would amend the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law to provide certain protections for experts rendering opinions regarding the authenticity, attribution or authorship of works of fine art.

[T]he Bill is intended to incentivize two general categories of art experts. The first category includes those persons and entities that are recognized by the visual arts community as having expertise regarding the artist or artwork in question and provide good-faith opinions as to the authenticity, attribution, or authorship of a work of fine art. The Bill includes within its coverage authors of catalogues raisonné or other scholarly texts containing authenticity opinions. The second category includes those persons or entities recognized in the visual arts or scientific community as having expertise in uncovering facts that serve as a direct basis for an authenticity opinion (e.g. forensic scientists). Importantly, the Bill excludes from coverage those who render opinions about works in which they either have a financial interest, or have an interest in any transaction involving the work in question (other than mere compensation for the expert’s services).

Does this bill give authenticators too much power?

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