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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 14 2024

Easter passed without any major disasters. Only Mr Erdogan is surprised by the election results in Istanbul and Ankara, where the opposition won, as elsewhere in the country. But will that change anything? Art Basel came to an end in Hong Kong. All the big names in the art trade were represented, although not always by their owners on site. Politically critical works were rather rare, but who is surprised by the surroundings?

Building materials are becoming more and more expensive - probably also in Great Britain and so, in the old custom of good fathers, cultural monuments are used as natural quarries. Sometimes in places where it is not noticeable. The thieves come disguised as construction workers and steal what they can in York and Essex. This is reported in the "Journal des arts", which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Congratulations. France, with its 68 million inhabitants, is in some areas superior to Germany with its 84 million. Also in matters of art and contemporary dialogue. We are not happy that the art market is written so small by Claire McAndrew, who publishes the annual World Art Market Report and estimates that the German market is worth just under EUR 1 - 2 billion. With a global volume of 63 billion, this is rather negligible. France is in a much better position with more than double that amount. No wonder that a Quotidien de l'art can also be sold there, which reports daily on events in the world related to the visual arts. Up-to-date, critical and interesting. In Germany, glossy magazines such as Art, Monopol and Weltkunst are still around. The 14 daily Informationsdienst Kunst was discontinued after more than 700 issues. There seems to be a lack of broad intellectual curiosity about the subject in a country that once seemed to be home to poets and thinkers. Presumably also because art in this country is often characterised by the epithet "breadless". And who likes to go hungry?

Fear and despondency paired with an irrepressible will to solve everything through the courts seems to be the Germans' greatest asset. Our former Federal President Gauck cannot understand the reluctance to take a clear stance against Putin any other way. He just formulates it more elegantly. It is tedious to observe the twists and turns of the holder of political authority and his exegetes. A bit like Laocoon, who was ultimately unable to fend off the snake. The snake is Putin and his entourage.

Will these uncertainties hinder the international exchange of art? In Hamburg, the first of three major exhibitions on CDF (short for Caspar David Friedrich) has just ended and 325,000 people have seen it. Let's see if the next two in Greifswald and Dresden will help more than 1 million people see CDF in one exhibition - but there are still far more people going to the Louvre's permanent collections every year!

For those of you who still have a few days of holiday left, Stefan Kobel has put together a lot to read. The Venice Biennale opens in just over a fortnight - and then we'll know how tolerant the world of art is of itself and the conflicts in the world.

With this in mind, we wish you a thoughtful start to the shortened working week.

Stephan Zilkens and the team at Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Solothurn and Cologne

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker