Art & Cultural Property

Our Property Law Team

Beyond the sentimental value of art work, legal issues pertain to the Art & Cultural Property Law industry, with individuals and legal entities being required to comply with the applicable local, EU or international legislation on tangible and intangible cultural property.

Art & Cultural Property Law in Malta

The term ‘cultural property’ is often merely linked to museums, art and archaeological sites, however, Malta can boast of a much more extensive legacy and this patrimony is usually found very close to home, in the same towns and villages which make up our abode. Malta’s cultural heritage primarily falls under the Cultural Heritage Act (2002), and other subsidiary legislation and regulations, however due to several characteristics which make Malta’s art and cultural property the heritage of mankind as a whole, it may be subject to the protection of international heritage systems and legislations.

Art & Cultural Property law can be described as a blend of various laws and regulations guarding a multi-faceted industry that addresses the right of different individuals, be it artists, art collectors, auctioneers, museums and owners of art work, financiers or insurers. Thus, when dealing with Art & Cultural Property law, one will inevitably touch upon various legal fields such as intellectual property laws, insurance law, corporate law, tax law and trusts and estate planning laws.

In recent judgements, Maltese and European Courts have increased awareness of the degree of protection that local and international frameworks for Intellectual property gives to artistic, musical, film and literary works as well as the creation of symbols, designs and phrases, inventions and processes.

Our Art & Cultural Law Practice in Malta and Cyprus

Zealous and creative about Cultural Property, the main aim behind this specialised practice group is to provide the creative market with practical advice in a ‘one-stop-shop’ fusion of services. We offer a multi-disciplinary approach and an array of services which go beyond the traditional intellectual property law. Our practice group also deals with the drafting and negotiation of agreements, the planning of estates and wills, dealing with counterfeit goods, litigation and the resolution of disputes. Thus, we bring together experts from different practice groups, forming a unique blend of lawyers and industry specialist that can serve the client from a holistic point of view, in keeping with local, EU and international legislation.

In Cyprus,Chetcuti Cauchi are a well-known point of reference for advice regarding anything related to Art & Cultural Property, especially with regards to recovery of stolen and looted items of cultural property. Chetcuti Cauchi has long been known for its work for museums, rights organisations, collecting societies, dealers and artists. 

Our services include:

  • Acquisitions, disposals and loans of art and artefacts
  • Agency and partnership agreements
  • Charities and foundations
  • Contract drafting and negotiation
  • Copyright, moral rights and related rights
  • Dispute resolution, especially in cases of defective tittles & provenance
  • Import/export on art and artefacts
  • Intellectual property planning
  • Insurance planning
  • Provenance, title and ownership issues
  • Tax planning and wills
  • Trusts and estate planning

Our Art & Cultural Property Lawyers

Chetcuti Cauchi’s Art and Cultural Property Law team assists collectors, designers, artists, auction houses, museums, investors, fund managers, insurers, art historians, and owners of tangible and intangible art or cultural property.

Private individuals and public bodies turn to Chetcuti Cauchi for advice on tax and funding, commercial arrangements, protection and promotion of intellectual property rights, provenance and clearing of title as well as for employment issues and property matters. Our lawyers seek to alleviate the legal obligations and responsibilities associated with this area into a lifetime passion where art and cultural property are preserved, financially planned and protected.


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