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The Relationship between Tax Deductions and the Market for Unprovenanced Antiquities

27 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2013  

Erin Thompson

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Date Written: May 15, 2010

Abstract

This Note examines the relation between the market for unprovenanced antiquities and Congress' allowance of tax deductions for donations of in-kind gifts to nonprofit organizations. Part I lays out the current rules on charitable deductions. Part II surveys the antiquities market, arguing that the majority of unprovenanced antiquities sold in the American market during the last few decades were looted and illegally exported from their countries of origin in order to feed this market. Part III begins with a discussion of several cases of donated antiquities and then moves to a general suggestion that the current charitable deduction rules, at best, fail to reduce looting and, at worst, encourage the purchase of looted antiquities. The Note concludes with a proposal for conditioning the availability of a deduction on the presence of satisfactory provenance information and a discussion of the impact this reduction in the availability of deductions might have on the market for antiquities, scholarship and the fate of antiquities themselves

Suggested Citation

Thompson, Erin, The Relationship between Tax Deductions and the Market for Unprovenanced Antiquities (May 15, 2010). Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, Vol. 33, p. 241, 2009-2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2363720

Erin Thompson (Contact Author)

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

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