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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 20 2024

Please don't be surprised - every now and then you have to deviate from the usual. Since the news blog has also appeared on Instagram, there are the same photos in alternating order. Despite the author's vanity, this bores the web ... . And boredom is the last thing we want to be accused of in these exciting times. So now, in addition to Stefan Kobel's weekly changing pictures, we also have our snapshot of the week. This time taken in Braunschweig (a quiet centre of the German art market in the 1920s, as a wonderful exhibition on Galka Scheyer at the local municipal museum shows until next Sunday), where a pharmacy sets art apart from coughing.

In 1866, Nordstern Insurance was founded in the premises of the Mendelssohn Bank at Jäger Strasse 51 in Berlin Centre, which disappeared into the belly of Colonia in 1996 and not much later into the even larger stomach of AXA. Nordstern had begun to develop art and insurance as an independent business segment in 1982. Within just a few years, it succeeded in linking the term art insurance with its name to such an extent that AXA, which was otherwise not squeamish, was tempted to draw on its expertise and develop AXA ART as an independent brand within the brand. Later generations of management found this difficult because they would have liked to have the company's equity in their direct figures. So the purchase of XL came at just the right time and the associated restructuring caused AXA ART to disappear and XL a Company of AXA to emerge, which made a name for itself with interesting interpretations of the war exclusion that were not favourable to the customer, among other things. After reunification in 1990, the building in Jägerstrasse was taken over by investors and leased to the Mendelssohn Society, among others, which operates the Remise with a rich cultural programme based on the history of the Mendelssohns. As a private association, the society only receives limited public funding - but all forces combined have so far been sufficient to finance the rent and programme. The current landlord has now terminated the contract with effect from 31 December 2024 in order to generate higher rental income. The new rent demand seems to be pushing the association to its limits, so it is not clear whether the founding location of the company, which developed art insurance to maturity, can be preserved for Berlin's urban banking and insurance history. Mendelssohn Bank is now, due to the work of GRÖFAZ (Größter Führer Aller Zeiten), in the belly of Deutsche Bank, Nordstern is part of the AXA Group, which still owns the rights to the domain Both the banks and the insurers should consider providing sufficient financial support for this unique historical site so that it can continue to be operated as a historical site by the Mendelssohn Society and thus also shed light on economic history.

Once again, a group of activists have attacked paintings in France's sacred institution, the Louvre, in order to draw attention to their view of the world. They have chosen Delacroix's depiction of Liberty, which has just returned from restoration. You get the impression that these people want all paintings in museums to be behind armoured glass. Unfortunately, this is also an expression of a world in which the discourse of differing opinions is becoming increasingly difficult. The meaningless billboards for the European elections show that nobody dares to engage in discourse. The fact that violence against politicians of all genders is becoming an issue is evidence of a brutalising society - on the other hand, you don't get the impression that grounding is taking place in this professional field. Back to normal life after 8 or 10 years and the possibility of re-election only after a cooling-off period of 4 - 5 years could perhaps help to dispel the feeling that the ladies and gentlemen of this profession - at whatever level - are only fighting to maintain their privileges and not to find the best solutions for those who elected them. Qualtinger already described this well in the early 60s with Gerhard Bronner. (Unfortunately only in German)

Hopefully the Holy Spirit will bring enlightenment at the end of the week - in other words, happy Pentecost.

Yours, 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