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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 39 2023

In his 511th issue, Stefan Kobel has once again spanned a wide arc in which news about the negative performance of NFTs stands out. The works of art that were initially hyped due to a lack of art criticism seem to be worthless to a large extent. The insurance industry has not had a solution for its particular risk situation (Wallet and Co.) so far - now it has a reason not to find one.

The "SUN for the Management", i.e. Manager Magazin, has taken target at Oliver Bäte. The accusation: Allianz is losing managers because Bäte demands solutions instead of problem descriptions. The latter has probably gone out of fashion and it should come as no surprise that the market leader trains for the market. In this respect, head hunters are bad witnesses when they link their placement reservoir to the leadership style of upper management. There is money to be made in this, too.

The cultural department of the city of Cologne has launched a state-of-the-art initiative. A working group of employees of all museums is to submit proposals on how CO² can be saved in museum operations. In Berlin, it was decided in this context to transport small objects such as coins and medals only by couriers in public transport instead of having this work done by professional art transporters. (Liability remains with the lender, the insurer has no recourse and the environment is saved - only (if the exhibits are particularly valuable) the risk of robbery and thus of endangering the health of the courier increases. - Let us return to the city, whose most prominent building is still standing only because the public administration is not responsible for its preservation. Stefan Charels and many other people in the city administration want to have 900,000 euros approved for a feasibility study, which should lead to the construction of a central depot for the artworks of all Cologne museums. On an interim basis, a furniture shop in Porz (near Cologne/Bonn airport, far away from the centre where the museums are located) is to be upgraded in terms of energy efficiency in order to store the art there, which is endangered due to a lack of maintenance measures and still existing endowments in the museums' current depots. The offer to rent CO²-free and top-secured storage space, which is offered by the hidden champion among art transporters, also based in Cologne, is generously turned down. The city administration prefers to use the business tax for feasibility studies. Safety deficiencies of furniture stores in combination with CO²-emitting air-conditioning technology and equally CO²-intensive transport routes are gladly accepted. Cologne, by the way, is the city that always deludes itself that it can complete large building projects in 3 years from planning to completion and then fails to realise any of them in 10 years. Thus, the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2035 is deliberately not achieved - and this despite (or because?) the Greens have the majority in the city.

The wealthy in Austria are threatened with misfortune if the SPÖ returns to power. They are planning a "millionaire's tax" in which household effects will be exempt from assessment. But at what point is the art that has been hanging on the walls of many a flat for years taxable? Is the inherited Schiele on the wall already enough to be subject to this tax? Insurance policies, by the way, are to be taken as the basis for taxation. Data protection for social democrats usually applies only politically, not materially. The approach completely ignores the mechanisms of art valuation with regard to the respective purpose of valuation. There is a world of difference between the replacement value of comparable quality on the market and the sale value arrived at under economic pressure, which can easily be as much as 500%. In any case, the SPÖ's ideas are poison for the Austrian art market and the artists who work there.

The day before yesterday was the beginning of autumn and in three months it will be Christmas - in this spirit, I wish you a relaxed week.

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

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Dr. Stephan Zilkens | Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker