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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 2 2023

Everyone is slowly coming back from the holidays - let's see how long people wish each other a Happy New Year? - Those who already started work last week probably don't notice any difference to the time before 1.1.

Many have made their way to Singapore, where this year's first really interesting art fair starts next Wednesday. Unlike in the past (e.g. 2018), the spring family reunion of the art trade is well before TEFAF. Besides Zwirner, Gagosian, Perrotin, Pace and White Cube, apart from many other galleries mainly from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore and Beijing from Europe, among others, are: Vervoordt, Capitain, Dirimart, Hetzler, Greve, König, Ropac, Neugerriemschneider, Sies und Höke, Nagel Draxler, Konrad Fischer, Meyer Riegger, Schipper, Hufkens, Peres Projects and Zilberman. That sounds like a lot of optimism and a wide range. After the December auctions, the buying wind felt there could also carry over to Singapore. The country is small but has a very well-off collector base and is also strategically located for Southeast Asia including Australia. Perhaps it is more Singapore than Seoul, in whose immediate vicinity a dictator from China's grace who is starving his people is repeatedly carrying out missile tests, which means latent insecurity for South Korea.

Where are Werl or Oelde again? What is special about Emmen, Dübendorf or Yverdon les Bains? And what do Bregenz and Feldkirch have in common with the aforementioned? These cities all have about 30,000 inhabitants and that's how many people visit the Louvre every day. So a small town through the museum every day, 40% of them with free admission. In 2022 there were about 8.5 million crowding around Mona Lisa and co. Laurence des Cars, who has been the head of the institution for a year now, wants to limit the number of visitors and make the place more visible to the French, who increasingly regard the venerable house as a tourist attraction but no longer as their museum. The Louvre is by far the most visited museum in Europe. In the land of poets and thinkers of all sexes, one is already happy if 250,000 make it into the individual houses. Before Corona, the German Museum in Munich, which is known to be concerned with technology, and the Minitaur Wunderland in Hamburg (toy trains) were the magnets, each with over 1.4 million visitors. Only half of them made it to the Pergamon Museum. No wonder that the administration, together with the politicians, for example in Cologne, forgets that less visited museums also have to be maintained. Cologne has no museum without a renovation backlog of at least 30 million euros. The strategic questions from Paris do not penetrate the cerebrum. And if the museums are closed, the costs will be lower - perhaps people will forget that there used to be a museum there. Then one can continue to devote oneself to building up personnel in the administration - but that is at least a nationwide issue in Germany. A pity, really.

Lloyd's of London was long considered the Mecca of creativity in the insurance industry. What nobody wanted to insure - Lloyd's had the capacity and the willingness to tackle new risks. The British government strongly supports the Ukrainians' fight for freedom - but now the venerable institution with the bell that reports the total loss of a ship has stabbed it in the back. It is understandable that people do not want to insure war risks and describe it in such a way that they remain free of liability. The best way to do this is with a territorial exclusion, where Lloyd's also throws the baby out with the bathwater with LMA5583A, because the clause applies not only to Russia and Belarus but also to Ukraine. And because it is so annoying, here is the clause in the original (slightly shortened):

"Territorial Exclusion: Belarus, Russia and Ukraine: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Policy, this Policy excludes any loss, damage, liability, cost or expense of whatsoever nature, directly or indirectly arising from or in respect of any:

i. entity domiciled, resident, located, incorporated, registered or established in an Excluded Territory;

ii. property or asset located in an Excluded Territory

iii. individual that is resident in or located in an Excluded Territory;

iv. claim, action, suit or enforcement proceeding brought or maintained in an Excluded Territory; or

v. payment in an Excluded Territory."

In other words, Ukrainians do not receive money even if they suffer damage outside their country. And money may not be paid to claimants in Ukraine either. One would like to think that those who waved the clause through have a lack of historical knowledge or are simply reacting in a completely schematic way, if one does not want to accuse them of political intentions. Since the English version of our newsblog is also read in London - we hope for improvement.

Stefan Kobel dedicates his third part of the annual review to other stories from the art market in 2022 ...

Have a good start to the week - stay in touch with us.


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

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker