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Art Karlsruhe 2022 is now over. On the opening day it was surprisingly quiet - or as some gallery owners said: too quiet. Germany is on holiday early and perhaps also exhausted from the other fairs on the borders that took place shortly before: Basel, Brussels, Maastricht - well and then now Karlsruhe - fortunately there was state aid for the booth rent - let's hope that enough buyers of all genders also justified the courage of the galleries. On the way to Karlsruhe and back, one could see that the Deutsche Bahn app is good after all. We had the opportunity to switch to an earlier train that was only 20 minutes late, so that we reached Mannheim on time with the SB-Bahn, which took 62 minutes to cover the distance that the ICE manages in 23. The fact that the train back didn't feel like beating the punctuality statistics again - forget it, at least there was something in the dining car.
A small earthquake occurred at the end of the month at the Swiss art insurers: Peter Meili, who feels like an old hand at XL a Company of AXA and a creative, constructive, knowledgeable and fair underwriter, is leaving the company to join the team at Liberty Special Markets in October. We wish all three good luck and success in the new team, in choosing a gender-appropriate successor and in further developing the business base.
In France, art thieves are still properly judged and not worshipped by publicly funded media as little Robin Hoods, like some counterfeiters in this country who do a bit of time and then strut in front of the camera with celebrities. In July 2020, in the 5th district of Paris, a couple of heavy boys stole 8 works of art and jewellery from an old lady. The art is back - and the ringleader may go to jail for more than 4 years. His 74 year old mother, who probably helped quite a bit in the background, also has to live with restrictions on her freedom for 18 months.
Some people in Germany, but also in Switzerland and Austria (our neutral neighbours) would like to negotiate peace with Putin's gang of liars on the issue of Ukraine so as not to freeze in winter. The Russian swamp is deep and Lavrov and Co. confirm every day that lying is their tried and tested tool. However, those who constantly cross their fingers while swearing should not expect their time to be wasted in negotiations. The problem was already formulated centuries ago by the vernacular: he who lies once is not believed, and even if he speaks the truth ... .
The Wolfsburg Art Museum has become a target of animal rights activists because it showed a work by Damian Hirst in which flies are also used. The vermin perish in the attempt to get to the light. The veterinary office of the city, which had become big because of the "Kraft Durch Freude" car, also got involved and began to investigate. Otmar Böhmer, the museum's managing director, then let the work be removed from the exhibition - without much discussion. Similar and yet different to Kassel, where discussions were first announced, only not to take place. Hito Steyerl and Meron Mendel have since withdrawn their support for Documenta 15. Germany is in danger of becoming intellectually impoverished, because apparently hardly anyone is still in a position to put up with a dissenting opinion, let alone question their own. It seems more important to be allegedly politically correct than to let scientific research have its say. This was the case recently at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where a female biologist with a clear gender was unceremoniously removed from the list of speakers because she wanted to say something about the connection between reproduction and gender diversity.
To all, a summery week with climate-friendly ways to escape the threatened heat wave.
Yours, Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Cologne and Solothurn