Spain’s famous art patrons in Panama Papers

© Dmadeo Wikimedia
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

AS the international community continue to be gripped by the Panama Papers scandal, an information leak that some say make WikiLeaks and John Snowden look insignificant by comparison, more famous names continue to surface in connection with offshore schemes. 

It appears that one of Spain’s most well-known art patrons, the Thyssen-Bornemisza family, is implicated in the scandal. Their names were amongst the 11.5 million records leaked from Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, who specialised in the management of capital tax havens.

According to an article published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), their name appears alongside that of other prominent figures in the art world. Allegedly, the ICIJ contacted the family’s lawyer who confirmed their ownership of an offshore company, but stressed that Spanish tax authorities had full knowledge of it. 

Other names from the world of art that are implicated in the Panama Papers are Marina Ruiz Picasso, granddaughter of the famous Malagueño artist, the Nahmad family, prominent art dealers with a €2.6 billion net worth, and the Goulandris family who have been involved, since 2013, in a legal battle regarding the disappearance of an art collection worth an estimated €686 million, including works by artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Monet, Degas and Cezanne.

The famous art museum in Madrid is named after its founder, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, an industrialist and art collector. With over 1,600 paintings, it was once the second largest private collection in the world.


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