Foundation of Swiss Art Market Association

On 12 January 2015, four Swiss art market associations (Art Galleries Switzerland, the Swiss Association of Dealers in Art and Antiques, the Swiss Art Trade Association and the Association of Swiss Auctioneers of Art and Heritage) created their umbrella organisation – the Swiss Art Market Association. Sylvia Furrer Hoffmann, a lawyer/EMBA based in Bremgarten near Bern, was elected as its managing director.
The umbrella organisation seeks to promote the interests of Swiss art market professionals in a lively, diversified and internationally competitive Swiss art and antiquities market, benefiting not only the association’s members but also artists, art collectors, art fairs, public and private museums, and – owing to the private sector’s decentralized and commercial cultural support independent of taxpayer’s money – the public sector on communal, cantonal and federal (cultural support as public task) level, i.e. Switzerland as a cultural centre.

The economic significance of Switzerland’s art market is considerable. In terms of turnover Switzerland ranks fifth after the US, China, the UK and France. Its global share of art exports amounts to 7 percent, as compared to 8 percent in France and 5 percent in Germany (TEFAF Art Market Report 2014). The market participants that have joined associations – almost exclusively SMEs – enjoy an excellent reputation as well as trustworthiness word-wide. But in the face of increasing competition especially from the Asia region, this market position can only be maintained if basic conditions remain attractive or are improved. Here, we must not forget that Switzerland has one of the strictest directives safeguarding the protection of cultural assets world-wide (with strict due diligence requirements for art dealers and auctioneers), as well as a new strict framework regarding money laundering (with focus on accepting cash).

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