Esquisse pour le portrait de
l'Impératrice Joséphine à la Malmaison
France passed a new law on July 6th, which entered into force on September 1st, modifying the previous law on July 10th, 2000. The aim of such new law was to allow auction houses to conduct sales by mutual agreement. i.e. private sales between the seller and the buyer, whereas previously such transactions were restricted in France to galleries and other private dealers. The law brings France into line with other European countries as England, which already allow auction houses to handle private sales.
Since they are fast and secure, private sales have special appeal for clients seeking privacy. Museums, which often must establish a budget in consultation with their boards, often lack flexibility during auctions and prefer private negotiations.