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Preferential acquisition of cultural assets

First Option Right

The first option right is a preferential acquisition right that may be exercised in the transference of cultural assets:

  • Cultural assets between individuals.
  • Spanish historical-artistic heritage assets up for public auction.

All Public Administrations may exercise this right. However, the Central government has preference over all others in the acquisition of property assets for a national museum, archive or library.

  • First option rights between individuals: This right may be exercised in a sale between individuals of:
    • An asset of cultural interest.
    • An asset included in the General Inventory of Personal Property.
    • An asset for which an Asset of Cultural Interest declaration file has been opened.
    The owners must notify the corresponding Autonomous Region and the Ministry of Culture of their intention to sell, specifying the price and the conditions under which the transfer will be carried out.Salto de línea Salto de línea Within a maximum of two months following notification, the Autonomous Region and the Ministry must notify the owner as to whether or not they will exercise their first option right for themselves, for a charitable entity or for any public entity, following a report from the Spanish Historical Heritage Classification, Valuation and Export Board.Salto de línea Salto de línea If the first option right is to be exercised (Ministerial Order), the period for making the payment is two budgetary years from the publication of the Ministerial Order.Salto de línea
  • First option in public auction.Salto de línea Salto de línea Auctioneers must notify the competent authorities, between four and six months in advance, of the public auctions in which any Spanish Historical Heritage asset are to be sold, sending the data included in the auction catalogues.Salto de línea The Spanish Central Administration may exercise the first option right by sending a representative from the Ministry of Culture to the auction, who, upon establishment the final auction price of the asset, shall indicate the intention to exercise said right, and the awarding of the asset will be suspended.Salto de línea Salto de línea Subsequently, the exercising of the right will be formalised by way of a Ministerial Order published in the Official Spanish Gazette (BOE), indicating the destination of the asset. The administration has two budgetary years in which to make payment from the date of the Ministerial Order.Salto de línea

Retraction Right

The retraction right may be exercised when:

  • The sale, between individuals, of an asset of cultural interest or an inventoried asset for which an Asset of Cultural Interest declaration file has been opened, has not been notified correctly.
  • The sale of Spanish Historical Heritage assets in a public auction has not been notified.

With this right, the asset sold is acquired under the same terms and conditions that were given to the buyer.

This right may be exercised within six months of the date on which the sale became known.

Exercising it requires a favourable agreement from the Board and it is carried out by means of a Ministerial Order.

Irrevocable Sale Offer

According to regulations, submitting a temporary export application to the Ministry with the possibility of sale or permanent export shall be considered as an irrevocable sale offer to the Spanish Central Administration. The price of the same shall be the value indicated on the export application.

Acceptance of this sale offer by the Central Administration shall be agreed to be means of a Ministry of Culture Order, which shall be communicated to the interested party.

The Administration shall have six months to expressly accept or reject the irrevocable sale offer. If it is accepted, a period of one year shall be provided for payment.

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