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The CPGA regrets that “the competent authorities have remained deaf to the well-founded and rational argument” art galleries and asks that they “are among the establishments authorized to welcome the public – in the same way as the voluntary sales companies – and that their activity falls under those allowing the reception of the public in the same way as the bookstores and the record stores”.
The continued opening of the sales rooms is “unfair competition” and “an intolerable distortion of competition”, protested the committee. He warns that the impact of the closing of the galleries “can prove fatal for many artists whose sale of works constitutes the first source of income, far ahead of copyright or emergency aid”.
This professional committee to which 310 galleries belong, including the most important, and which are located for more than 80% in Île-de-France, denounces serious attacks “to several fundamental freedoms” : it lists the freedom of expression, the free communication of ideas, the freedom of artistic creation and dissemination, the freedom of access to cultural and artistic works, the freedom to undertake and the freedom of trade and industry .
The galleries are “accessible without going through the ticket office, designed to promote public movement” and the exhibits “do not involve manipulation, unlike bookstores or record stores”, underlines the arguments submitted to the Council of State.
They also advance the argument that “click and collect” is unsuitable for art galleries. “The closing of the spaces de facto prevents all potential sales on which the visual appreciation of the works, in real size, depends”, say the gallery owners.
The CPGA also refers to the ordinance of the Council ofIT ISof November 13 which led to the reopening of booksellers, to argue that it is “incontestable” that the galleries too “have an essential character”, given their role “in communicating ideas and the importance of art for the people”.
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