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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 11 2022

Dear readers of Kobel's Art Week,

The aggressive war operation against Ukraine, triggered by Russia and its power apparatus against all international law, continues to play with fire. Missile attacks on areas just outside the Polish border could, if the targeting is bad, become a NATO alliance case, and then there it is - the Third World War that no one could actually imagine any more. In the third week of horror, many people are still stunned by the breaking of taboos. Gas, coal and oil from Russia? What for? To continue to pour money into the pockets of all those around Putin? There are supposed to be other sources of energy. - Nuclear energy, for example, which is much less CO2-emitting than coal-fired power stations. Globalisation has so far been a means of slowly reducing the poverty gap between nations - but that presupposes the free movement of goods, unhampered by war. A rethink will lead to different production depths and a reduction in the relocation of labour-intensive primary products to poorer countries. Putin and his equally guilty supporters are taking the world back to the 19th century, when states preferred to be self-sufficient, provided they had sufficient resources. Ultimately, defending Ukraine also means fighting a battle for nations with even lower GDP and maintaining a broader exchange of goods and services. For this reason alone, there should be an international interest in bringing Putin and his henchmen before an international court. We just have to be patient.

There is a great deal of solidarity with Ukraine - the Federal Association of German Galleries and Art Dealers is also supporting with appeals like many others mentioned by Stefan Kobel. The insurance industry is also collecting for the victims - but at the same time it is trying to keep its sheep dry worldwide. New risks in Ukraine are not being written. Old risks are expiring; the next few weeks will show whether there will be an extension. It is difficult to think in the long term because of the Russian state apparatus' continued taboo-breaking. War on land has always been an uninsurable risk. For sea and air transport, war insurance cover for Ukraine and areas of Russia as well as the Sea of Azov has now been cancelled worldwide. People now fear even more cyber attacks. One of the most widespread security software comes from Russia and is called Kaspersky - can it really still be considered safe when the country has shown that the rule of law plays no role for Mother Russia? But where are the alternatives? In any case, the cyber insurers are fine-tuning further definitions in order to keep their accumulation risk, which is hardly controllable anyway, under control somewhere.

Works of art in Paris must eventually be returned to St. Petersburg and Moscow - what if they are held back as collateral for the massive damage Putin's army has caused in Ukraine? In turn, what about the works of the lenders of Diversity united that are waiting in Moscow to be returned? How do you punish the destruction of world cultural heritage? The destruction of the Buddha sculptures of Bamiyan by the Taliban is still waiting to be dealt with under international law.

These are the big questions of the world, and in our world, which is struggling with democracy, young people are beating up a museum director in Chemnitz because he tried to use civil courage to get them to stop using National Socialist, sinister greetings. It's terrible that the poison is so pervasive in the East of Germany.

I wish you a week with signs of hope for all of us.


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

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker