Author: Francisco Javier Martín Reyes

The goods of cultural interest are a type of goods that generates a lot of curiosity in the society, due to the fact that people do not know what this type of goods are or they do not know the advantages that the owner or possessor of any of them has.


Do you want to know what an asset of cultural interest is, how it is regulated at a national level, and what advantages this type of asset has?


  • Legislation

The legislation on the Assets of Cultural Interest is contained in the Law 16/1985 of 25 June on Spanish Historical Heritage (hereinafter LPHE), which includes all those requirements for the consideration of goods as Historical Heritage, and then at the autonomous level we have the Law 3/2013 of 18 June on the Historical Heritage of the Community of Madrid (hereinafter LPHCM), (each Autonomous Community has its own regulation, we have decided to focus on the Community of Madrid) which sets out the requirements to be considered an Asset of Cultural Interest (and also heritage but in this case we will focus on Assets of Cultural Interest), since each Autonomous Community, based on article 6 of the LPHE, has the competence to regulate the assets it has at its disposal.

  • Requirements to be considered an Asset of Cultural Interest

The requirements for consideration as an Asset of Cultural Interest in the Community of Madrid are set out in article 2.3 LPHCM, which states that “The historical heritage of the Community of Madrid includes tangible and intangible assets located in its territory that are recognised as being of historical, artistic, architectural, archaeological, palaeontological, landscape, ethnographic or industrial interest”.

Therefore, for an asset to be considered an Asset of Cultural Interest, one of the aforementioned interests must be recognised, and it cannot be declared an Asset of Spanish Historical Heritage.

Now, can anything be an Asset of Cultural Interest?

The answer is no.

Goods of Cultural Interest can be movable and immovable, and immaterial goods.

If they are immovable assets, they must be included in one of the categories recognised in article 3.1 LPHCM, which can be:


“the construction or work product of human activity of relevant historical, architectural, archaeological or artistic interest”.

Historical ensemble

“the grouping of immovable properties which form a coherent unit of historical and cultural value, even if individually they are not of special relevance”.

Cultural Landscape

“places which, as a result of man’s action on nature, illustrate the historical evolution of human settlements and of the occupation and use of the territory”.

Historic Garden

“the delimited space, the product of human management of natural elements, considered to be of historical, aesthetic or botanical interest”.

Historic Site or Territory

“the place linked to events of the past that have a special historical relevance”.

Property of Ethnographic or Industrial Interest

“constructions or installations representative of traditional activities or linked to modes of extraction, production, marketing or transport which deserve to be preserved for their industrial, technical or scientific value”.

Area of Archaeological and/or Palaeontological Interest

“The place or site where there are goods or remains of human intervention or fossilised remains, susceptible of being studied with archaeological and/or palaeontological methodology, whether they are on the surface or in the subsoil, underwater or in emergent constructions”.

Movable assets may be declared as an Asset of Cultural Interest, in the category of a group or collection, understood by the law in article 3.3 LPHCM as “the group of works linked by artistic, thematic, functional or contextual affinities that have been produced for the same site from a single creative impulse or through the collaboration of several artists”.

In the case of an intangible good, it may be considered as an Asset of Cultural Interest, in accordance with article 3.4 LPHCM, in the category of Cultural Fact.

Advantages and disadvantages

Once the good in question is considered to be part of one of the categories, a process will be initiated that will end with the declaration (or not) of the good in question as an Asset of Cultural Interest.

Once declared as such, it will be entered in the Register of Assets of Cultural Interest of the Community of Madrid.

Once it is registered, it will be an Asset of Cultural Interest for all purposes, enjoying a general regime of protection, in which we can find both advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of an Asset of Cultural Interest
Being a holder of an Asset of Cultural Interest has these advantages:

Holders of Goods of Cultural Interest will have a series of tax advantages, which they will be able to enjoy once they are registered in the Register:

Personal Income Tax: You can defer the tax or have deductions of 15%.

Corporate Tax: You are exempt from tax.
Wealth Tax: You have three exemptions:
Assets registered in the Heritage Registers.
Objects of art and antiques of Spanish Historical Heritage, whose value does not exceed that established in article 26.4 LPHE (i.e. the value established in the Register).
If they exceed the value, the excess value is taxed for personal income tax purposes, but goods transferred to permanent storage for periods not exceeding three years may be exempt.
Inheritance and Gift Tax:
Inheritance: A reduction of 95% of the real value may be applied.
Donation: A reduction of 95% of the real value may be applied, provided that the donor is over 65 years of age or older, with absolute permanent capacity or severe disability.
Cultural Percentage: In the case of having an Asset of Cultural Interest, 1% of the budget of the State and the Community of Madrid will be destined to research, documentation, conservation, restoration, dissemination and enrichment of the historical heritage (article 37 LPHCM and article 68 LPHE).

Disadvantages of being an asset of cultural interest
On the other hand, being a holder of an Asset of Cultural Interest also has its disadvantages. Among them we can find:

Duty to conserve and access permission (article 12 LPHCM): Owners have the duty to conserve and guard them, and to allow access so that their state of conservation can be analysed or for their specific protection. In the event of failure to properly comply with the protection obligations, this may be cause for compulsory expropriation of the property (article 21.1 LPHCM).

Right of first refusal (article 22 LPHCM): The competent Regional Ministry of the Community of Madrid has these rights in the event of transfer for valuable consideration or of any real right of use and enjoyment.

These advantages and disadvantages will make it necessary to analyse the specific case when making the decision to buy or sell the property listed as being of cultural interest.