Study on the Valuation of Works of Art for Lending and Borrowing Purposes

The EU Council of Ministers’ Work Plan for Culture 2011-2014 includes an aim to foster the mobility of collections (cultural heritage, works of art, etc.) through the simplification of processes of lending and borrowing. Among the tasks foreseen are the setting-up of a working group of Member State representatives and the commissioning of a study on systems for the valuation of works of art – the latter is presented hereby.

This study, carried out between 2011 and 2012, aims to assist the European Commission and EU Member States by providing updated knowledge on the methods for the valuation of works of art in Europe and considering measures to facilitate the mobility of collections, through a survey of museums, governments and curators. The focus of the research lies on the financial valuation of works of art and how valuation processes are undertaken in the practice of EU Member States.

The report includes a short description of how financial valuation occurs in the broader context of the valuation of cultural goods or works of art, describes the results of questionnaires and interviews with museums, governments and curators and presents recommendations at policy and management level. A sample methodology for assessing the value of different types of collections and a glossary of key terms are also included.

The study was written by Cornelia Dümcke and Freda Matassa on behalf of the EENC.

On the other hand, documents produced by the EU Working Group on the Mobility of Collections, including a report and a toolkit on practical ways to reduce the cost of lending and borrowing of cultural objects, are available on the European Commission’s website.

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