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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens‘ News Blog 10 2024

The tomb figure of Agnes Sorel, which has sealed her sarcophagus in the church of Loches since the 15th century, cannot now travel to the Musée Cluny in Paris for the exhibition "Art in France under Charles VII" (1422 - 1461) after all, because an old fracture in the marble could prove to be a predetermined breaking point. At least that was the decision of the conservators who, after weeks of preparations, stopped the transport before it actually set off. Pretty lucky for many of those affected. The church of Loche retains its attraction, the carrier does not have to defend itself against claims that would have arisen due to the nature of the sculpture and neither the French state liability nor an insurer has to deal with the whole thing. You can't win a flower pot with damage resulting from old damage either. Such things are simply not insured! And certainly not under state liability.

It is not easy for UNESCO to express the cultural destruction caused by Russia in Ukraine in monetary terms. At the beginning of 2024, UNESCO estimates it at USD 3.5 billion, of which USD 2.4 billion is attributable to historical buildings alone. The calculation does not include the economic losses caused by the fact that museums, libraries, concert halls and opera houses are closed or can only operate under difficult conditions. Tourists are completely cancelled. This is likely to cost Kyiv alone USD 10 billion per year. It is therefore understandable that the demand for the confiscation of Russian state property frozen in the West, probably worth over USD 300 billion, to compensate for the losses caused by Russia is becoming ever louder. The perfidy of destroying art and cultural sites in order to rob people of their cultural identity should be severely penalised by the international community.

Art has always been and still is political, even if there have been movements dedicated solely to art itself. But even in this attitude there is a statement to be made in its rejection of the surrounding social situation. The Berlin Film Festival has shown that art can be used in a very targeted way to spread political messages - and here, too, the freedom of art applies, although it must face up to other opinions and information peacefully and openly, otherwise it is no better than Donald Trump, who they probably rightly regard as a criminal. It remains unclear how a nation founded on freedom can behave so blindly in the choice of its political leaders, regardless of gender. Most compliance rules prohibit over 75-year-olds from being elected to the supervisory board of listed companies, and significantly lower age limits apply to board members in addition to, admittedly slightly idiotic, gender-specific rules. Why can't our politicians, who are otherwise so intent on healing the world, set a good example here and limit themselves? In qualitative minimum requirements for education and professional experience of people with passive voting rights (these are the ones who can be elected, for those who are just brooding), the number of terms, minimum ages exist for some functions - but a maximum age does not (given the personnel shortage after the 2nd World War, no wonder, since Adenauer still led the country to prosperity at over 80). However, there is no need for an argument that is so easy for trade unions to accept: it is not necessary to make parliamentary mandates more attractive by paying higher salaries in order to find enough talented people.

On Thursday, TEFAF Maastricht opens its doors to what is probably once again the most fascinating temporary museum exhibition, which is also open to the public. The works on display will span 5 millennia. Our team is going on a company outing there next Monday. We also want to find out what is going on outside Germany. Unfortunately, you will only be able to reach us on one day via our mobile phone numbers.

Have a pleasant week full of art enjoyment and lots of fun with Kobel's art week afterwards

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Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Solothurn and Cologne

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker