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The new year continues as the old one ended - at least in Ukraine, where Russia broke in on 24 February with "dance and bombs" (loosely based on Bert Brecht) and wants to make the living space of the people uninhabitable, bypassing all international conventions. The complete failure of diplomatic means, the shifting of spheres of influence around the globe and the powerlessness with which the citizens of free states such as Austria, Switzerland and Germany have to watch these goings-on require a great deal of strength for everyone to believe in a turn for the better. Sometimes one wishes it were like at the end of Brecht's Threepenny Opera: "Where need is greatest, help is next" - but there are many regions in the world that can claim that for themselves.
Before we really start into the new year, I would like to thank all those who made our exhibition project, which seemed impossible on the 15th of September 22 due to the competent administration of the city of Cologne, possible after all: Claudia Roth, Berivan Aymaz, Marion Hohenstraeter, Gonca Türkeli-Dehnert, Ina Brandes, Hildegard Kaluza, Peter Grabowski, Ralph Elster, Oleksii Mekeiev, Iryna Shum, Ralf Stollenwerk, Birgit Rolfes, Peter Meili, Alexander Wiebe, Ursula Cornely, Ina Martens, Michael Reitemeyer, Jochen Link, Andrea Firmenich, Birgit Maria Sturm, Thole Rotermund, Kristian Jarmuschek, Daniel Hug, Pia D'Hondt, Benjamin Agert, Yilmaz Dziewior, Thomas Weber, Mayen Beckmann, Philippe Dietz, Cornelia Schmidtmeyer, Michael Horbach, Jerome Lenzen, Hans-Ewald Schneider, the friends of the Rotary Club Köln-Ville, Sandro Parotta, Klaus Hillmann, Michael Reiss, Oksana Pidvarko and the team of the Pinchuk Art Centre, Ilona Demchenko, Polina Scerbonos and the colleagues from our team, Ronald Kroner, Alexander Oguz, Dieter Lange, Christel Schüppenhauer, Daniel Stuttmann, Andreas Görgen, Jürgen Schneider, Marco Mirabello, Karen Michel, Vijay Dasija and Wolfgang Müller have contributed to making "Worth Fighting For" possible. Those whom I have not mentioned now, i.e. the anonymous donors and helpers in the background, may forgive me for mentioning them here only in general terms and in the generic musculine. My special thanks go to the two curators Bjorn Geldhof and Bart de Baere for their flexibility and perseverance. The funding was not in place until 14.10. at 14:06 with the verbal commitment of the BKM. The opening was on 14.11. with about 500 people - and we could only really start advertising afterwards. By 14 December, about 2,800 people had seen the exhibition, whose predecessor in Kyiv, "When Faith Moves Mountains", was listed by FRIEZE as one of the 10 most important exhibitions in Europe in 2022.
Let's look ahead: the Schengen area is expanding to include Croatia, and at the same time the EUR is being introduced there. A little more togetherness with the Adriatic. The art market was stable in 2022 and at auctions the 10 most expensive works of the year were all above USD 80 million - Warhol's Marylin leading the way at almost 200 million. Bitcoin is weakening - NFT may be here to stay, but art critics are mustering all their courage and letting the bad word flow from their pens: decorously and pleasingly . Which the bored monkeys certainly are and the stringing together of holiday photos no less, whose creator is only remembered by the one who spent almost 60 million USD on it almost 2 years ago.
There will be more exhibitions again - the simple home cooking will satiate the hungry for a short time if they only curate their own collections. They won't get away from the blockbusters quite like that - the potential experiences of seeing and knowing are too delightful for that. But perhaps the boxes will get lighter and the collective transports more frequent - ultimately a question of what value we place on our cultural heritage. Population trends on Earth also give little reason to believe that nothing will come after those who claim to be the last generation.
Desertec was a great project - until it was scrapped in 2014 because no agreement could be reached on who should receive the energy generated there. In the course of the world's changing spheres of influence, it makes perfect sense to generate energy in other continents that can also promote prosperity and reduce migration pressure there. Green hydrogen also requires vast amounts of energy, which could also be made available in this way - up to and including seawater desalination projects, which could help to halt desertification and thus also achieve a positive effect against global warming. The newly retired Torsten Jeworrek of Munich Re has once again brought Desertec to our attention. The time is now much riper for it and there should also be political support.
The year hasn't really started yet - many won't be back in the office until January 9th Stefan Kobel looks back today at the 2022 Auction Report.
The team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Solothurn and Cologne wishes you a good start into the new year - stay with us