Art and Cultural Property


“There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power: the will”. Albert Einstein


In the art sector, a difficult balance must be achieved between the interest in protecting artistic heritage and the need to promote a dynamic and vibrant art market, all within an increasingly international context in which collectors and cultural patrons seek to find alternative ways of having an impact on society. 

At Ramón y Cajal we are passionate about art. Our team of experts combines this interest in the art world with what it knows how to do best in order to provide our clients with comprehensive legal and advisory services in the area of art and cultural property. 

The services that we provide in the area of art and cultural property include, among others, the following: 

Buying and selling and transfer of works of art 

Advising on and acting as legal defence in the acquisition and transfer of works of art: purchase, loan, escrow and financial collateral agreements, as well as commodatum transactions. 

International art market 

Advising foreign and national clients with investments and interests in artistic and historical assets in Spain or abroad. 

Import and export of works of art 

Processing of permits, management of licences and customs and feasibility studies. Contentious-administrative proceedings, disputes, mediation and arbitration in relation to Assets of Cultural Interest before the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Regional Governments.

Protecting and recovering artistic and historical assets

Legal opinions regarding the viability of recovering property stolen in wars, both national and international. Legal defence in pre-trial and trial proceedings. 

Estate tax compliance in works of art 

Advice regarding inheritance matters, management of legacies and bequests, gifting of artistic and historical assets and dations in payment, as well as tax compliance. 

Audits of collections 

Review of documentation and credentials of works of art forming parts of collections. Provenance and due diligence reports; advising on valuations, cataloguing, appraisals, inventories and damage assessments; and management of expert evidence and authentication processes. 

Foundations and patronage 

Advising on the creation of art foundations. Cultural philanthropy and taxation. 

Compliance programmes focused on the art sector

Implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing programmes for galleries, antique dealers and auction houses. 

Advising public institutions 

Drawing-up of reports and proposals for the implementation of cultural policies. 

Intellectual property rights 

Preparation of action plans for the protection of copyright and other similar rights. 

Advising artist studios  

Comprehensive legal advisory services for artist studios.