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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 3 2022

Dear friends of Kobel's Art Week and our newsblog about art, politics and insurance,

Corona still dominates the headlines - but slowly there is an additional awareness that the threat to world peace can be more deadly than any virus. The chance of something going off in the middle of Europe increases with every day that Russia, China and the USA talk about each other rather than with each other, and in Europe the wounds of its own history are not overcome by the formation of the United States of Europe. And in Germany, the willingness of the current government to prepare its inhabitants - who word acrobats like to call civil society - for the fact that a weapon that really hurts dictatorships would lead to a massive loss of prosperity is non-existent. 42% of crude oil currently comes to Germany from Russia and 55% from the temporary environmental drug natural gas. If the nuclear power plants were left running, this would reduce dependency - but this is not possible in a country where the language learned before - well, what actually - is so soft-washed that even traditional street names, such as the Mohrenstrassen named after the Moors, no longer stand a chance. So the deployment of battalions armed to the teeth on Ukraine's eastern border is allowed to happen so as not to jeopardise the goal of climate-neutral energy production without nuclear power by 2035. The war machine doesn't give a damn about Euronorm 6 for diesel engines. Even on Fridays, there is no future without peace.

At the same time, moral risgorism is on the rise in Western societies, which does not place foundations and artefacts of the past in a historical context in order to learn from their sins and mistakes for the future, but instead immediately condemns them for eternity or takes them down from their pedestals and throws them into rivers. A new museum is being built in Vienna near the Albertina that will house the Horten Collection and will be privately financed. Olga Kronsteiner is already asking in the Standard about the origin of the assets. Let's see whether visitors to the opening planned for the summer will have to walk through a protest palace. Political risks are usually excluded from insurance coverage if you move outside a certain democratic norm. Many a demonstration has ended in riots in the popular sense - but whether this was also the case in the legal sense must be clarified by the courts when insurers invoke the exclusion of risk and refuse to pay.

The Documenta, which will show current art trends of the world in Kassel for the 15th time in June, has to deal with accusations of anti-Semitism because it shows artists of all genders who boycott Israel in terms of cultural policy or even call for a boycott of the whole country. Art is always political, no matter what Gerhard Richter thinks about it, not showing it would be censorship. Whether it is actually good art will be decided by galleries, museums and collectors, in other words ultimately by the market. Another compass in a globalised world characterised by the individualisation of communication only exists in dictatorships that dictate to the people living in them what they have to think and see.

I wish you a week with good art and the freedom to look at it as you please.


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

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker