Deontology


RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE EXPERT

The primary requirement of any transactions involving works of art, especially for those who buy, is the guarantee. When the work of an artist no longer alive is to be sold and there is no precise classification of his work, attributing the authorship is a task not only heavy, but of great responsibility. This creates many doubts among investors who, most of the times, buy a work of art only with the guarantee from the merchant, that in the Italian legislation is the only one who can certify the work of art sold. This rule is governed by Article 63 of Legislative Decree 29 October 1999, no 490, which replaced the old Article 2 of Law November 20, 1971, No 1062: "Anyone engaged in the business of retail or exposition finalized at selling fine  art, sculpture, graphics, antiquities or objects with an historical and archaeological interest must deliver to the purchaser a certificate of authenticity and provenance of works and objects themselves, which are found in the shop or exposure. Furthermore, at the time of the sale, the buyer must issue a photographic copy of the work or the object with a declaration of authenticity and a declaration of origin, bearing his signature." This law is the only legal defense that a buyer may have when buying a work of art. In this context, then there is an strange change of roles, since the law does not mention any way that the certificate of authenticity is to be issued by an assessor, an expert or a critic of art, but only by the seller.
Only a few courts and all the Chambers of Commerce in Italy have created its own list of art experts accepted for admission based on qualifications.

RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
The European Art Experts Association has a deontological regulation that each member must follow:

1. The expert who subscribes an expertise responsible for his actions both in Court for the Community.
2. Expert cannot subscribe an appraisal when it is out of his fields of expertise, or when his interest can interfere with an objective assessment.
3. The expert does not endorse appraisals of works that he has not personally examined.
4. There shall be no form of unlawful competition or work to replace a colleague who is about to have or had a job.
5. The expert called to authenticate a work is always required to verify that it has not already been considered by another expert, in which case it shall inform the colleague if still alive.
7. The expert who has worked for auction houses cannot accept assignments from individuals or from institutions for the same works of art already considered.
8. The assessor is bound by professional secrecy.

 

 

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