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Dear friends of our newsblog and of Kobel's Art Week,
a sad message in advance - Dr. Bernd Noack, art appraiser and expert, passed away on January 27th, three days before his birthday. He had started his career as an underwriter in 1991 with Nordstern and worked for AON Artscope in Berlin from 1995 to 2003. In July 2003, he went into business for himself as an independent appraiser and risk manager. Shortly before the world went into lockdown, he moved from Berlin to Edemissen. Our last joint claim involved a day's journey to Tokyo, which hung in his bones. His power of judgement was not affected by this. The German-speaking market is losing a knowledgeable, independent spirit who knew how to take the demands of its participants.
An absurd Olympic spectacle began in Beijing at the weekend, in which a German named Bach plays a problematic role. In any case, what is going on is miles away from the art of the fugue. China and Russia show that the America First strategy is doomed to failure. In a COVID phobia, quite a few favourites will probably test positive in time, so that the betting shops will have fun and unbelievable odds can be achieved. Millions of litres of water will be turned into snow with extreme use of energy - and that energy is more likely to come from coal and nuclear power plants. The youth of the world, peacefully fighting for golden medals, is only a pretext for a grotesque self-dramatisation of a totalitarian state that knows how to exploit the egoism of the individual (and here you may confidently think of all genders, if you are convinced that gendering leads to more justice between peoples) for its own purposes. Ancient Olympia only knew summer games - and the weapons rested during this time. But that was thousands of years ago.
The trade fair carousel is turning again - ZONA MACO opens this week in Mexico.
The Milk of Dreams - the exhibition curated by Cecilia Alemani for this year's Biennial in Venice - features works by 213 women artists (not gendered) from 58 countries. Never before have so many nations been gathered in the central exhibition. Based on Leonora Carrington's book "The Milk of Dreams", works by generations of female artists who can contribute some kind of reference to different aspects of bodies will come into the exhibition rooms. One will ask oneself what criteria were used to select and find gaps. One would probably be Fahrelnissa Zaid, who had to assert herself in a macho world as an abstract surrealist.
On February 1st, at the invitation of the French government, which is leading the European Council this year, a conference on "Strengthening European Cooperation in the Fight against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property" took place at the Louvre. Great progress - the art market was at the table. The organisers must have learned that it works better with the art trade than against it. Among the participants were Guillaume Verutti, Christies; Alexandre Giquello, Drout; Hendrik Hanstein, Lempertz also in his capacity as spokesperson for the European Art Market Coalition. The focus was more on looted art from the Orient - though the always false news about the art market was repeated. When the Art Loss Register was launched almost 40 years ago by the art trade and the insurance industry, museums had the chance to join in. Now each country is building its own app. ... . It would make more sense to coordinate the existing initiatives. That would probably be faster, more effective and cheaper. However, one would then have to live Europe as Europe and renounce national egoisms. To make matters worse, the Art Lost Register is now based outside the EU in London.
Liberty in Cologne has hired a new junior underwriter, Antonia de Baey, for the art business in Germany and Austria. By the way, our own list of applicants is not yet closed, so please contact me if you are interested in an interesting job involving art and insurance.
70 years on the throne - no one really wants to be that irreplaceable - but we congratulate the Queen on her jubilee and hope that her successors will be able to live through periods of peace in Europe at least as long as she herself did.
Have an exciting week with good experiences around art and life
Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Cologne and Solothurn.