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More than half of the year is already behind us! The days are getting shorter again. The war in Ukraine has already lasted 131 days and Russia reports control over Luhansk. Donetsk and Luhansk are Ukraine's industrial regions with attractive mineral resources that could form the backbone of developing prosperity. The usurpers destroyed the Indurstrie, now they are handing out their passports as a cynical thank-you.
Treasures were probably also believed by the 4 people who attacked a jewellery dealer at the TEFAF in Maastricht last Tuesday and smashed the showcases of a London exhibitor and robbed some jewellery, very much in the Dresden style. The whole thing didn't last a minute and one watches stunned as two people with guns secure the retreat and two make the break. There are rumours of Arab clan criminals from nearby Belgium and helpers within TEFAF. In any case, the booth was probably near an emergency exit and the 4 perpetrators were able to leave the premises unhindered. Not only Lloyd's of London, who will probably have to settle this claim, are wondering what to make of TEFAF's security concept. At Art Basel, where there is no jewellery to buy, you have to pass through metal detectors before entering the fair. In Maastricht, you sometimes have to show your bag if you want to get out again. Until now, setting up and especially taking down were considered increased risks in connection with art fairs. Maastricht in the border triangle of Holland, Belgium, Germany and its differently composed crowd of dealers from antiquity to the present and works of art from all categories, including jewellery, offers well-organised burglars of all sexes a quick retreat that the Dutch police cannot close so quickly and before the police in Belgium or Germany can intervene, some bureaucratic obstacles have to be overcome.
In Germany, anyway, there is logistical chaos at the railways and airports. According to well-informed sources, the chaos at the security checks seems to be due to the result of a tender for the service by the responsible federal authority. Once more, the cheapest provider was chosen - with the expected consequences that nothing really works. Where has that not been the case already? - The Elbe Philharmonic, BER, Cologne Opera, the Rhine Bridge in Leverkusen, to name just a few well-known examples. Presumably, the second or third cheapest bidder would be better and ultimately more cost-effective - but only Switzerland dares to use this as a criterion for awarding tenders.
Along with the stock exchanges, the NFTs are now also sliding to the basement, with the difference that behind most stock exchange companies there are real values, stocks and distribution channels that are generated by thousands of people. In the case of NFTs, sometimes it's just the holiday pictures of a self-promotion-addicted narcissist or a few nice monkey faces that are now causing other headaches for the courts, because the creators of the silliness are prosecuting a critic of all genders for market-damaging behaviour. No wonder proper art criticism has become rare.
We wish you a summery week and Italy a proper country rain.
Yours, Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Cologne and Solothurn