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The war in Ukraine is entering its 51st week and the end of the carnival week marks the anniversary of the Russian slaughter and murder, and it is not only in Germany that there are people who think that if we withdrew our support for the Ukrainians with weapons, peace would come very quickly. These people include many members of the AfD as well as Alice Schwarzer and Sarah Wagenknecht. A look at one's own history would be enough to realise how wrong one can be with pacifist gestures. Before 1 September 1939, the later Allies were of the opinion that one only had to let the GröFaZ have a bit of Bohemia, Moravia and Austria, then he would already give a Ruh. This misjudgement cost the lives of 6 million Jews and 64 million non-Jewish people, if you follow the historians. Putin and his camarilla can no longer be appeased with kind words, they have committed too many war crimes for that - they can perhaps still be contained, but China and India offer a back door.
Carnival will still be celebrated ... - The cathedral remains in Cologne and the staff in the Rhineland are usually unavailable, at least on Thursday and the following Monday. - This also applies to our office. Munich seems to be free of the bacillus, because the security conference starts there on Friday.
The magazine Asscompact reported extensively on the subject of art insurance in its February issue. In addition to AXAXL, Mannheimer and the art expert Dr. Martin Pracher, there is an interview from us on the situation. Interested readers can find it here. (I am afraid in German only - but DeepL.com could help probably)
Zeifira Tregulova, the previous director of the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, was removed from office because she did not show Russia's traditional values in her museum. Putin has instead appointed the daughter of a Russian general, Elena Pronicheva, who previously ran a polytechnic museum. The collection consists to a high percentage only of works by Russian and Russified artists - It is not to be expected that works that are not in line will come into the trade.
ChatGPT is now the talk of the town - and no, this blog is not written by AI - this is still real handiwork ... In response to the question: who deals with art insurance ? the answer came from Chat GPT: "Art insurance is usually offered by insurance companies that specialise in art and collectibles. It is important to take out comprehensive art insurance to ensure that their prized possessions are well protected. It is also usually a good idea to consult an art insurance specialist to ensure you get the right policy for your needs." Neutral advice can only be obtained from an insurance broker with experience and who knows about the weaknesses of the individual companies.
Heinz Holtmann, who also set standards as a gallery owner, has died in Cologne at the age of 84. During his time as chairman of the BVDG, he was able to give the ZADIK important impulses. Today he is being laid to rest on Melaten. We will miss his open view of new things.
On Saturday, despite a previous postal strike, the catalogue of an art auction house in Leipzig arrived and tried to interest us in the second auction. That makes us curious. The Frankfurt gallery owner Carlo Schwind took over the old house last year and turned it around. - Now there are mainly paintings and sculptures and a focus on originally East German, mostly figurative works. Artnet doesn't have all the results yet - at Artprice you can already find at least the Mattheuer, which was the top lot of the first auction and sold for 80 KEUR.
Elections in Zurich and Berlin - In Zurich, the previous conditions have more or less been confirmed, in Berlin, 105 votes cast will decide whether Franziska Giffey, who was voted out of office in her own constituency, will continue with her current coalition. That's how many votes the SPD is ahead of the Greens and we could learn from yesterday's interviews that what is mathematically possible from their point of view is enough to stay in power. Decency in politics never was - that is why it is important that elected officials and of course their pendants in all gender variants should only be re-elected three times at local level and twice at federal level. Leadership positions in publicly controlled companies should also only be open to them after a cooling-off period. There was little room for freedom in individual responsibility among Berliners. The FDP could not sufficiently mobilise this spirit, which still has a hard time in the vicinity of the former socialist brother state.
We wish everyone a week of enriching encounters - and those who still get tickets can go to Amsterdam to see Vermeer and escape the carnival.
Yours, Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Solothurn and Cologne