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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 30 2022

Stefan Kobel's review of the art trade, as perceived by the press in the last six months.

I am losing faith in the innocence of 145.5 million Russians whose government is waging a barbaric, unjustifiable war against a population that is trying to find its way to democracy. It (the Russian government) concludes treaties in order to bomb the port the next day through which grain is to be delivered to countries whose people would otherwise die of hunger. The Russian population was already frugal in tsarist times, they say. They now grow potatoes in their dachas so that the crisis will be more bearable for them - they say. But they let their superiors have their way, give up their children for senseless killing and dying and do nothing else! But they know and feel a lot - and the propaganda of those in front of them has always been just that! I was born after the Second World War, but I still remember well that as a schoolboy in France or England I had to answer for things that at least my parents had not committed. My grandparents probably did. Perhaps we democratically-minded Europeans must now ask the Russians of all generations the same question? Maybe we have to apply the jurisdiction of The Hague also against ministers in office (gender doesn't matter !)?

Many decision-makers in the insurance industry - meaning those at the very top - talk about solidarity with Ukraine and are willing to donate, organise humanitarian aid, but watch as those they should be giving direction to no longer insure normal risks and investments in Ukraine. In doing so, they make themselves Putin's next cohort. Even without war, there should be a fire, a burst water pipe, a storm or a burglary. Even without war, transport or packaging deficiencies lead to transport damage. Only a few insurers are prepared to constructively face these risks. It would be good if the activities and investments necessary for economic and cultural reconstruction were at least covered by classical insurance.

Meanwhile, the European partners are fighting over gas. Let the stupid Piefke spoon out for themselves what they have got themselves into. The European South doesn't see any point in trying to save gas. And once again Putin is lying in the corner, thigh slapping, threatening to die of a laughing fit. Europe is showing itself in all its weakness, and the German government's inability to exchange rings is doing the rest.

Winter is coming and those who only see a gas problem and not an electricity problem will notice that the population has bought a lot of heating stoves that will let the electricity supply collapse. Freezing citizens are a danger for those in power and victims for rioters of all stripes. Steinmeier is trying his best and invoking solidarity. He is right. The perception must be extended to art and culture. We are trying to put together an exhibition in Cologne in November entitled "Worth Fighting For, Artists for Ukraine" with the Pinchuk Art Center. We still lack the funds. But we are confident that the alliance of the capable will help us to let the visitors of Cologne and the Art Cologne see the wide range of Ukrainian art since about 1990. We will not only bring Venice to Cologne.

In this spirit: here's to future projects that spread hope and strengthen the soul.

Yours, Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Brokers in Solothurn and Cologne.

PS: If you would like to help us, please get in touch - THANK YOU!

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker