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At virtual conference, experts chart way for provenance, resale rights

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AS part of efforts to educate the public on the intricacies of art collection to all stakeholders in the industry, the Society for Art Collection (SARTCOL) recently held an online summit on the Importance of Provenance and Resale Rights.

The programme, which held on zoom platform, lasted for an hour and 30 minutes.

The panelists, who are experts in their respective fields, included, Mrs. Aderonke Akinyele-Bolanle, founder, Jade Art Consulting; Ana Collazo Acha, CEO of Aworanka and Chinyere Akachukwu, an intellectual property lawyer at Kenna Partners.

Provenance is the documentation that authenticates a particular art piece.

On provenance, Acha maintained, “artwork is the most valuable object, as it is the primary source of provenance data. A provenance document should include important documents such as, owners name, date of ownership, method of transference, and the artwork’s location. Provenance is important because it confirms the authenticity of the artwork, increase in valuation and proves ownership.”

While speaking extensively on the legal issues that arise during the resale of artworks, Akachukwu said, “the danger with not having good provenance is that fraudulent sales of art could be made (and have been made- several stolen Art have been sold in the past). Under the law, a person simply cannot give a title he or she does not have. The development of provenance as great practice will do wonders for the Nigerian Art scene. It will bring Nigerian artists a step closer to receiving better renumeration in the international art market. It will also help in the management of copyright infringement, forgeries/ fraud and outright misappropriation of art and misinterpretation of legal ownership.

“The resale rights is on the idea that artists should benefit from the increase in value of their work overtime. The resale right essentially ensures that the artists and his estate (heirs in title) are given a percentage of the proceeds from resale of the artwork. This is more common where the artwork is sold to art dealers, art auctions and in the open market.”

On the importance of provenance to art collectors, Akinyele-Bolanle went on to buttress the point that “verified provenance can prove the authenticity of a piece and greatly increase its value. Since art has been collectible for thousands of years, determining where a piece comes from is often a complex work of historical study and documentation. As a collector, if you have any questions whatsoever about the proveance of a work of art you are thinking of buying, contact an art advisor, consultants or art experts.”

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And to artists, she said, “in order to prevent and avoid situations where people question your art, keep good records right from the start and provide some form of documentation with every artwork you produce. Lack of this can compromise your market. Therefore, ensure there is never any doubt that ownership of your work begins with you as proof of authenticity or ownership accompanying a work of art is more important than ever.”

The online summit was attended by art intellectuals like Dr. Jess Castellote and Ms. Sandra Obiago.

Art collectors, artists and art enthusiasts from different echelons of society were also tuned in.

Since the Society for Art Collection was established, it has been involved in educating the public through programmes such as seminars, workshops and colloquiums. It has also promoted the appreciation of artists, their arts and culture.

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