Wednesday 08th July 2015Art Travel Ban
Tourism is one of the world's great industries - after all, the world is an incredibly beautiful and exciting place. Over the years a number of specialized versions of tourism have evolved, some more prominent than others, but one that has been gaining steam lately is tourism combined with art purchasing (as strange as it might just seem). Not everyone seems to view this with the same equanimity, unfortunately, which can lead to some strange and perhaps misguided attempts to correct the perceived problem.
Germany, which is home to the second largest art auction market in the world after the United States, has recently decided to propose laws to govern the purchase and sale of art by non-residents. Apparently, it is quite common for visitors to Germany, whether casual tourists or wealthy collectors, to purchase art during the course of their trip, which obviously has cultural and economic benefits for everyone involved. This has provoked a knee-jerk reaction among some elements of German society, which lead to the development of the bill in question.
Needless to say, a complete ban on traveling purchases is a rather extreme measure that has aroused the ire of art buyers, auctioneers and artists all around the world. The theory is that the law will prevent Germany's cultural and historical artifacts from being sold off to wealthy collectors in other parts of the world, but it may in fact become a stifling measure that inspires artists and auctioneers to move to more friendly and tolerant cultural climes.
While the law hasn't actually been formally put on the books yet, it has a serious chance of passing. The Culture Minister, Monika Grütters, plans to bring the draft law to Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet for approval during August. This is likely to create a major upheaval in the multibillion dollar world art market if it passes, of course, and who knows what kind of negative impact it will have on Germany's role in the artistic community. It seems a bit strange in a modern, information-friendly global economy that this kind of ban is felt to be necessary, so here's hoping that the rest of the German government understands the negative impacts this ban would have on a whole host of related industries, not just the artistic world.
Posted on July 08th 2015 on 04:18pm
Friday 14th March 2014The Best Cities for Art Lovers 6: Cologne
When most people think of Germany and art, they think of the famous museums in Berlin and they think of the world-renowned Bauhaus art movement. There is a lesser-known artistic gem in Germany, tucked away in the western end of the country near where the borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands intersect. While it's a relatively large city, it still doesn't typically make the usual top lists for art lovers to visit, which is a true shame.
Partly due to its interesting cultural fusions due to the border proximities, Cologne is a burgeoning center of contemporary art, and there are more than 30 museums to visit, as well as hundreds of galleries, with new ones opening all the time. The Museum Ludwig is one of the most well-respected museums in Cologne, featuring a stunning collection that bridges a number of artistic sensibilities in the contemporary era, from pop art to surrealism and abstract art, as well as one of the largest collections of the works of Pablo Picasso in all of Europe.
If more traditional European artwork is your style, visit the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, which hosts an equally impressive range of works dating from back to the 13th century up to the current artistic era. Most notably featuring works by Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt, there is something to satisfy every traditional taste, from Bosch's "Adoration of the Child" to "Langlois Bridge at Arles" by Vincent Van Gogh. There are also a number of Monet paintings, although the museum was recently forced to admit that a sixth Monet was a forgery when it was examined prior to restoration in 2008.
For those who prefer a different way to experience art, Cologne is recognized by many as hosting the world's original annual art fair, Art Cologne, which began way back in 1967 as Kölner Kunstmarkt. Open to the public, the fair runs for 6 days, and attracts upwards of 60,000 visitors to view contributions from galleries from around the world. This year, the Art Cologne fair will be running for a shorter timespan, from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13, 2014 - so if you're planning a visit, see if you can get a last-minute flight in time to visit the fair! Booking last minute can be a great way to save money, as airlines and hotels are eager to fill up any empty seats and rooms. What better way to celebrate spring than by a whirlwind weekend trip to Germany's beautiful artistic side?
Posted on March 14th 2014 on 08:28pm