NYS Legislative Agenda: Re-incentivize Art Authenticators and Restore Integrity to Art Transactions in New York

Re-incentivize art authenticators and restore integrity to art transactions in New York 
*City Bar Proposal*

The City Bar supports legislation which addresses certain deficiencies in provisions of the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law: namely, the absence of protections under the law for authenticators in rendering independent, good-faith opinions about the authenticity, attribution and authorship of works of fine art.  An increasingly hostile, litigious environment has raised insurance costs and created levels of risk that have driven people from the field.  While in the course of rendering opinions, authenticators are often sued to call into question their findings.  Although experts nearly always prevail under the law, the costs of vindication are great: thousands of hours and dollars spent on legal defense.  Even carrying liability insurance (which can be particularly burdensome to an individual authenticator) does not always guarantee protection.  The proposed legislation defines with clarity that segment of the art market that should be encouraged to practice its profession, and provides a mechanism through which authenticators can do so and thereby promotes legitimate commerce in New York’s thriving art market.

Reissued from 2019 NYS Legislative Agenda