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Introduction to the acquisition of cultural assets

Assets that can be acquired by the State, and the criteria for such acquisitions.

Criteria for the acquisition of assets

The objective of the acquisition of cultural assets is to meet the constitutional precept in article 46 of the Spanish Constitution, which establishes the following obligations on the State:

  • The conservation and protection of Spanish cultural heritage.
  • Increasing Spanish cultural heritage.

Two criteria are considered in the decisions on the assets acquired: recovering and safeguarding the heritage.

Likewise, the acquisition policy of each museum, library or archive is also taken into account, based primarily on two central ideas:

  • To cover gaps in the collections, as was the case with the purchase of two paintings by Braque for the Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Centre in late 2004.
  • To maintain the prestige that important collections have, for example, the collection of Greek ceramics held by the National Archaeology Museum, which continues to expand.

Categories of assets that are acquired

The State buys all type of cultural assets:

  • Documentary heritage.
  • Ethnographic heritage.
  • Archaeological heritage.
  • Scientific-technical heritage.
  • Historical-artistic heritage: paintings, sculptures, drawings or decorative arts.