Import export of historic instruments

October 17, 2018, 3:16 AM · I was browsing the current Tarisio auction that is offering, among others, the double case from the Stradivarius workhouse and other instruments from very historically relevant luthiers. It came to my mind that those items were worth to be in museums and that left me wondering what it's the legislation about these purchases.
According to the Spanish law, antiquities of more than a certain value cannot be exported unles they get a especial permit from the Government. Any international buyer must agree to leave it in Spain, or they need to get that permit. What about other countries, in particular the Italian?
Is there any international agreement regarding antique instruments? If not, any country may refuse to let it go once it gets there (that's the law in many...)

Replies (3)

Edited: October 17, 2018, 9:03 AM · for complicated situations like this I rely on a customs broker/shipping agent to work it through.A good one has valuable contacts and experience that gets the job done. Like a CPA doing involved tax matters, a lot of times their fees balance out possible liabilities.
October 17, 2018, 11:12 AM · Carlos, this export restriction may only apply to antiquities which are originally from Spain. Worth checking on.
October 17, 2018, 9:19 PM · Well, I found out later.
It's a law. UNESCO International treaty of 1970. As a rule (not as an exception), exports of antiquities, art, etc, require an export permit from the appropiate department in each case.
And some countries also require an import permit.

There is a guideline that the European Union has published for the particular case of exporting these items to Russia. It gives the general framework and lists the competent law and authorities in each country.
https://eeas.europa.eu/sites/eeas/files/moving_art_07_en_0.pdf

But as a rule, you do need a permit from the exporting country to buy/sell these items .

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