Levant & partners law firm contributes on legal regulation of the art market in Russia

In 2021, a collection of articles on legal regulation in the field of art entitled “Art law review” was released by Law Business Research. The articles in the collection are divided into two sections: topical legal issues of the global art industry and a detailed review of the legislation of various countries. In the edition the authors put a definite end to the discussion about the need to separate legal regulation in the art industry from civil legislation. “Art law review” is a unique study from experts from leading law firms around the world, it covers more than 20 countries, including Russia. Review of the Russian legislation is prepared by the team of the international bar association Levant & partners law firm under the guidance of Managing partner Matvey Levant with the assistance of a group of professionals involved.

Despite the fact that the turnover of the world art market in 2020 has decreased, there is no doubt that the Russian art market is developing. In 2019, it demonstrated rapid growth. Nevertheless, litigation related to the art industry is extremely rare. The high demand for Russian art in the West and the relatively small supply induce the State to enact stringent regulation in this area and introduce new mechanisms aimed at preserving and protecting artistic and cultural values in legal, administrative and organizational aspects. All of them, both new and established, are discussed in detail in the article on legal regulation of the Russian art market. In a broad sense, it is noted that there is no specialized regulation, thus, commercial transactions with artworks are subject to the general requirements of civil law with some restrictions relating to objects of cultural heritage established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Civil Code. However, there are numerous challenges regarding civil legislation when applied to the art field. For example, the transfer of exclusive rights to a work of art, auction activities, the principle of caveat emptor in transactions related to art and antiques, relations with respect to art objects transported from Nazi territories and cultural heritage sites and the special statute of limitations associated with them — these and other aspects highlight legal regulation of the art market in the general mass of civil legislation.

Special attention is paid to alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, its order and procedure, and also considered in detail, perhaps the most acute and urgent issue of the art market – fakes and authentication. The authors discuss in detail the variety of transactions with art objects: private sales and auctions, loans with art objects. The entire array of existing regulation in its continuous development regarding the import and export of art objects, cross-border transactions is explored in great detail. The authors note that the Russian art market has not yet developed to the level of a professionally structured financial market, though there are corporate collections and large corporations and banks that are investing in art.

The article describes the aspirations of the European community and, in particular, of Russia for the transparency of the financial art market, it also covers the issue of insurance within the art market. The authors examine tax-related legal relations within the art market, directly related to the forms of property rights and their types, the most notable of which are trusts, ownership through funds and life-long ownership of property.

It appears that despite some economic and legal difficulties, the art market in Russia is developing rapidly and is likely to continue to develop after overcoming the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

The entire review will be useful for specialists from various fields,  lawyers and financial cpesilalists, and art market players. It will be especially informative for people who consider artworksas an investment, since familiarization with the material described in the review will help to avoid many potential risks.


  • https://levantlegal.com , Levant & partners law firm
  • «The art law review», editors Lawrence M. Kaye and Howard N. Spiegler, 2021 Law Business Research Ltd. «Russia», Matvey Levant, Yulianna Vertinskaya and Tatyana Alimova, p. 278-291.