How New Anti–Money Laundering Laws Will Affect Art Collectors

Julian Stallabrass, an academic at the Courtauld Institute of Art, wrote in the London Review of Books in 2013 that “the more art is useful for investment, tax scams, money-laundering, and entry to the elite,” the more it “parades its principled uselessness” at art fairs. Stallabrass’s polemic stance toward the art market reflects real instances of wrongdoing and the attitudes of some who view art as a movable commodity with subjective value.

“Connoisseurs and collectors may not view rare artwork as commodities,” a 2018 Deloitte report stated. “But frequently, that’s how cultural objects are perceived in the marketplace [and] illegitimate investors and businesses see additional value in these objects: the means to mask, move, and leverage ill-gotten proceeds.”

A number of high-profile cases have involved both the vendors and buyers of art reportedly using the art market to sidestep sanctions, obscure the origins of dirty money, and avoid provenance checks.

Read the full article by Samuel Mcilhagga with comments from Jerry Walters, Managing Director of FCS Compliance, on Artsy here.