International Art Market


THEMIS has specialised in the International Art Market and its needs from the very beginning. We have an intimate knowledge of the art market and its customs with over 20 years of experience. For a long time we have had the privilege of handling and representing very important mandates and cases in this field.

Dr Hannes Hartung began practising art law back in 2000, when the subject was still very much in its infancy. Two decades later, THEMIS is now one of the nationally recognised boutiques for art, culture and media. Famous cases such as the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt (Schwabing Art Find), the preservation of Paul Klee's Swamp Legend for the Lenbachhaus in Munich , the successful restitution of looted art for the Republic of Poland (including a bust by Antoinde Houdon) artists of the East Side Gallery, the representation of leading art collections, auction houses, art consultants and galleries bear witness to the wide-ranging work of THEMIS for art and culture in Germany and beyond.

Themis is the only law firm in German-speaking Europe that comprehensively advises and represents art, culture & private clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (also in tax law).

We advise and represent majors of art & culture of all disciplines and in the protection of historical monuments in all three German-speaking jurisdictions (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) in the areas of:

  • Authentication (authenticity procedure):
  • Inclusion in works catalogues
  • Restitution (art theft, looted art);
  • international protection of cultural property
  • Transaction (art purchase and art fund)

Added to this are the standards in the international art market, in particular auction law, liability in the case of incorrect and erroneous attributions and tax issues.

Our experts

About our experts

Dr Hannes Hartung is one of the few lawyers in Germany who has dedicated himself to all cultural fields (art, theatre, music, opera, literature, design) with proven expertise, an interdisciplinary advisory approach and scientific standards. Our well-known and renowned clientele benefit from his comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach as well as his background in cultural studies. He has been included in the JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms 2010/2011 for the areas of art, foundations and high net worth individuals.

Attorney-at-law Dr. Andreas Cwitkovits represents the needs of his upscale clientele in the areas of art & private clients throughout Austria from Vienna.

Specialist information / FAQ

International Art, Copyright and Cultural Law

  • Authentication (authenticity procedure in the context of the attribution of art objects in catalogues raisonnés)
  • Restitution of looted cultural property (looted art, illegal cultural property transfer)Transaction (professional mergers & acquisitions on the art market) including the conception of art funds (also abroad)
  • Assistance in the settlement of art damages and comprehensive art law advice in civil and administrative law
  • Art criminal law, project-related in cooperation with renowned specialist lawyers

Advice to high net worth individuals

  • Tax-optimised asset structuring
  • Inheritance law (structuring the succession of assets)
  • Foundation and non-profit law
  • Art foundations for artists, patrons and art collections
  • Tax-optimised structuring of collection successions

Advice and representation at the intersection of art, law and taxation

  • Monument protection
  • Collection and asset succession (minimisation of inheritance tax)
  • Foundations
  • Sponsoring
  • Tax integration of art ownership into the overall asset structure

Our client base and cooperation partners include state authorities, major artists and art professionals, designers, photographers, artisans, publishers, art collectors, wealthy private individuals, a renowned public museum as well as leading collections, banks, galleries, auction houses, insurance companies and young entrepreneurs.

Your right in the right place.

Platzl 5, 80331 Munich