Art gallery braces for Brexit

The countdown is on to when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March and as the Brexit clock tolls, the art world is making preparations.

An exhibition of fine art from Italy showing at Tornabuoni Art gallery in London was due to close on 30 March, the day after Brexit. Tornabuoni’s founder and director, Ursula Casamonti fears that when the clock strikes 11pm on 29 March the works, by Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana, could lose their free circulation status.

Given that the import rate of art into Italy is 10% and the works have a combined value of tens of millions of euros, this could mean Tornabuoni could face hefty tariffs when it tries to return the art to its collection in Italy. “You have to take some control”, Casamonti told the Financial Times.

Taking control is exactly what specialist art shippers are also doing as Brexit looms. Anticipating a spike in bookings as 29 March draws nearer, shippers are advising their clients to factor in additional time for their orders to be fulfilled.

Britain might lack clarity on its post-Brexit future but at least in the art world not everything is being left to chance.

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