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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 35 2022

Worth Fighting For - Artists for Ukraine, the exhibition we are trying to put together in November and which will give an overview of the creativity of Ukrainian artists on 3,000m², urgently needs your support. We have already cut our budget together with our colleagues from the Pinchuk Art Center. But we still need 300,000 EUR for energy costs, transport, architecture, construction, dismantling, supervision, lighting, video installations and artists' fees, and we can integrate an exhibition that is currently shown in Kyiv but for well-known reasons attracts few visitors from the free world. It's not funny when you have to go to the bunker every now and then because a troop of brutal power mongers is trying to realise Great Russian dreams. And Russia is now stocking up its troops, which is anything but a pacifist gesture. The worst thing is that many people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland seem to be so afraid of freezing in winter that they don't care about the core of the conflict: it's about our freedom to think, write, see, feel and understand. Those who want to contribute within their means, please do so here. Those who have access to larger sources and want to let the exhibition become a reality, please contact me directly. Donations can be made to the Art Asyl e.V. association.

There is something going on in the museum world - ICOM, in a process lasting many years, has now adapted the definition of what a museum is, from its point of view, to today's conditions. Since 2007, the definition has been: "“A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment". It now says, since the end of August 2022: "A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing" Sure, the little emphases demonstrate, because somehow it indicates that now something is going to be different than it was before, otherwise they would not have given themselves a new definition - i.e. a new self-image. It reads as if museums in the past were neither ethical nor professional in their communication and certainly did not interpret anything. And sustainability is the big buzzword now anyway. Agents of financial investment products now have to ask their clients, how sustainable they want to have their investments? Would you like a bit of nuclear power for low CO² emissions? Products in which primary products are produced by child labour should not be included - to silly, that eliminates Tesla and almost every battery manufacturer, because hardly anyone gets down to stage 5 in the pre-production chain. And are solar panels - calculated on a full-cost basis and taking into account disposal after 25 years as well as surface consumption - really the ultimate in resource conservation? Who is driving which sow with which apparatus of influence through the political committees, whose average competence is no different from a museum person who now has to deal with sustainability? No more exhibitions? As is well known, air conditioning and transport costs cannot be had without emissions. And which communities should be involved? The ones who scream the loudest, who are given a hearing because they cancel culture and brand dreadlocks on white people as sacrilege? Do majorities and democratic rules play a role at all? Of course the rules must also apply in Russia, which is preparing to mutate into a Soviet Union again, and in China, where the individual had nothing to say even in the days of the emperor. In these countries, the term democracy only causes earache. Then it would be better to have a definition that looks as if one has recognised the times and knows what the future will be like. What about museums that are dedicated to only one artistic form? Is that still covered by the concept of diversity? Or institutions that deal with mining, shipping, the homeland or a technology? And what about privately financed museums that are also profit-oriented - are they now no longer allowed to call themselves museums?

The insurance world still hasn't come up with a solution to NFT theft. This year alone, more than 100 million USD in NFTs are said to have disappeared into dark channels - while everything is supposedly so transparent ... And the sum is almost equivalent to what is collected annually in Germany in insurance premiums in the art sector. Normal damages are also paid. An affordable and promising NFT coverage for the risk bearers is not obvious.

We wish you an inspiring week full of good news, no matter what crises we are led to believe.

Your Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Brokers in Cologne and Solothurn

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker