Galleries resist compulsory Indigenous art code of conduct

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Codes of conduct designed to enforce ethical behavior in the Indigenous art industry are set to become compulsory. These standards are currently voluntary with many art dealers refusing to be signatories to the code. Discussions about moving to a mandatory model have been held with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission and Treasury.

But gallery owners like Kate Owen from Sydney say it’s too early to give up on a voluntary code. John Oster, the Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous Art Code, says many Aboriginal artists are continuing to be exploited because this voluntary self-regulation is not working.

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