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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 19 2024

On the internatinal workers day, the masses gathered again in some places and the Thyssen works council was pleased to be able to embrace a veritable labour minister on the podium, who thanked them by raising his left arm, hoping to give his increasingly criticised party the salvation its name deserves. (attention word game - the Ministers' name is Heil) Demanding higher wages in times of ever-increasing state provision is pretty cheap. Nor do they create the consumption needed to increase economic output and demand. It fits in with the economic policy of the children's book author and philosopher at the head of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs, which is aimed at deindustrialisation. State redistribution doesn't work - the brothers and sisters in the German East also had to realise this and therefore fought for more freedom, which, however, also harbours risks that they still don't want to hear so much about today.

The classic car market is weakening, according to people who are experiencing this first-hand, because demand for their old Jaguars, Bentleys, Mercedes and Ferraris is currently weakening. Classic cars and luxury goods have a certain affinity with art. Stefan Kobel reports on Frieze New York, which evidently received only a muted response from some critics. The quality on offer also seems to be aimed at a rather uncomplicated taste - safe goods that are pleasing and can be brought to the human body. But is this sustainable? How will the galleries in Basel appear in June? Will the difficult appearance of the Biennale be reflected or will it be ignored this time? What about the supposedly global South, which has a certain presence there? Incidentally, there are people in Singapore, Jakarta, Manila, Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur who feel offended by the term "global South" because they know their very different histories and cultures and don't want to be lumped in with them. The feuilleton probably hasn't realised that yet. Global sounds so much more powerful...

A three-day symposium on the subject of "Legend and Reality - Max Beckmann during the National Socialist Era" begins today at the new Pinakothek in Munich. Participants can look forward to an exciting programme of lectures on new research, which will also shed light on the effects of National Socialist cultural policy on the art trade.

After the German Cultural Property Protection Act has already led to the fact that there is no longer any serious trade in antiquities in this country, the EU is following suit, well-intentioned but badly done. In France, the art trade has already realised this and has successfully fought against it - the import sales tax of 5.5% in France (in Germany it is 19% in some cases), which the EU wanted to raise to 20%, remains in place. However, non-European art and antiques are to be subject to a new directive from 2025, which makes no sense either in practice or in history. If in Europe I need proof of legal export from ancient Rome for every piece of Roman amphora (even if it has been in the family for centuries), this is now also to apply to Chinese, Thai, Australian, Indonesian and who knows what else works of art. However, cultural policy plays no role in the European elections - only the well-paid posts of parliamentarians who are far removed from their voters. A restriction on re-election would perhaps also be a means of strengthening democracy here.

The "Versicherungsbote" has been reporting on the topic of art insurance since 2009. Now there is an issue in which the focus is on digitalisation, but questions about art insurance are also answered in two interviews. Julia Ries from Arte Generali and I have the honour of answering them. You can find my statements from page 70 onwards.

Xi Jinping - the powerful man from "Cathay" visits Europe - or more precisely: France, Serbia and Hungary. He is greeted by the young Prime Minister of France, whose name we have yet to learn. Mrs von der Leyen will first shake his hand together with Macron. So he's visiting France and not Europe. And then there's Serbia and Hungary, whose pro-Russia stance offends many in Europe. Macron likes to talk to students about the power of Europe - but tries to stage this for his own expansion of power, the Serbian president, whose country is associated with the EU, likes to play with the Slavic roots of his language and the associated proximity to Russia and finally Orban, that hard to bear anti-European in Hungary, actually does everything that primarily benefits him, then Hungary and who else? There is no better way for Xi Jinping to show that he does not take the current Europe seriously.

A constructive start to the week to everyone

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