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Zilkens'
News Blog

Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens comments weekly on current events concerning art. Subscribe for free

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens‘ Newsblog 33 2022

Many thanks to all who responded positively last week to our appeal for help with the Worth Fighting for exhibition. Even though the rooms are available free of charge, there are considerable costs involved in such a large-scale project. The rooms are not museum-like in design, so it takes some effort to make them suitable to host an exhibition. Artists will create new works for the exhibition and this, of course, not without a fee. Several works will have to be transported from Venice to Cologne and some, with great difficulty, from Ukraine to the exhibition venue. This will also cost a lot of money. We have first signals from the Ministry of Culture in Düsseldorf that they want to support the exhibition. We are still waiting for a reaction from Claudia Roth. But we are optimistic. We have to have at least half of the budget by the middle/end of September if the exhibition is to take place. We have now also received help from the association Art Asyl, which cares for artists in exile. Via betterplace (https://www.betterplace.org/de/projects/112312-worth-fighting-for-artists-for-ukraine) you can now donate for the exhibition. If the exhibition does not take place, the donations will be returned. So let's all keep our fingers crossed and hope that this works out.

At the other end of the world Down Under, the perspectives on European events shift considerably. Here China plays a bigger role and also the energy supply has a high focus as well as the export from the Australian mines. The entire continent is home to just under 27 million people. That puts a lot into perspective.

Stefan Kobel reports, among other things, on a strange daughter-mother relationship that has led to organized theft of art. The whole thing takes place in Brazil and the works of the artists involved are not yet so well known in the Western hemisphere, although they are valued at millions. From an insurance point of view, three things are interesting about this: 1. Would the loss be insured under an all-risk coverage? After all, one's own family is considered the thief. 2. would the insured values, essentially determined in the local market, have been recognized by the risk carriers and settled without discussion? And 3. would the defective title insurance have taken over the reversal in case of a sale? Since the Brazilian police intervened, no one has to answer these questions now.

Miriam Koch, the new culture and integration councillor in Düsseldorf from the Green Party, believes that the rules for climate and temperature in museums need to be relaxed. The current empirical values are far too narrow, she says, and a lot of energy could be saved if the fluctuations in temperature and humidity in museums were no longer taken so seriously. For the art objects and cultural heritage, this is quite a challenge. Normal temperature fluctuations are not covered by insurance contracts. In this respect, no resistance is to be expected from this front. It becomes more problematic when clear temperature and humidity specifications are made in loan contracts - and one must advise private lenders to do this. Will the already meager public purse then pay for the damage caused by deliberately acting against these contracts? In any case, it is beautifully populist to simply claim here that climate and temperature have no influence on the cultural assets to be preserved. The older ones of all sexes among us can still remember the exhibition die Parler und der schöne Stil in Cologne's no longer existing Kunsthalle. There, climatic damage to sculptures borrowed from what was then Czechoslovakia led to political entanglements.

Finally, there are two personal details: firstly, Julia Ries seems to want to change at Ergo and to leave the company after Andreas Berndt, according to usually well-informed sources, and secondly, HDI Speciality has found a new employee with experience in collections and insurance in Dr. Martje Esser. They are thus following a principle that has become rarer, namely that it is easier to teach insurance to art experts than vice versa.

In this spirit, we wish you all an exhilarating start to the week.

Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Brokers in Solothurn and Cologne.

PS Congratulations to our colleague Gina Labetzsch, who just gave birth to a baby boy. Mother and child are well up and we are happy with her.

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