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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 4 2022

Dear friends and readers of Kobel's Art Week,

we are already in the 4th week of the year and, also thanks to the freedom-restricting warhorse called Corona, it feels like everything and nothing is happening at the same time.

At the end of the week, an exhibition of Bernar Venet's works will open in Hangars 2 and 3 of the former Tempelhof Airport - briefly in the Kunsthalle Berlin, organised by Walter Smerling's Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn. Niklas Maak in yesterday's FAS is so astonished by the Kunsthalle Berlin that he publishes a full-page article on "the Smerling system". It could also have been titled "Relationships only harm those who have none". Without the ideas and initiatives of the Foundation, we would not have seen a great deal in recent years that also falls into the category of art as a means of diplomacy. "Diversity united" is just one of them, with patrons Steinmeyer and Putin.

The freedom of art is one thing. In principle, Article 5 of the Constitution protects the freedom of art and science, research and teaching. But there are also limits when it comes to human life, for example, or the use of substances that can become a danger if left uncontrolled. The Documenta in Kassel now has a real problem because, under the eyes of the new State Secretary for Culture Claudia Roth and her head of office Andreas Görgen, it refers in a press release to the "GG5.3 Weltoffenheit" initiative, which actively supports the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) initiative and thus negates Israel's right to exist. There is a resolution of the Bundestag from May 2019 that prohibits state sponsorship of BDS. What now, Kassel? Perhaps back to the Landgraviate of Hesse-Cassel of 1567 and temporary departure from the Federal Republic of Germany with the advantage, as the GDR already used it ideologically, of having had nothing to do with the atrocities of the Third Reich?

Now Russia also wants to get out of cryptocurrencies, you can read. Perhaps they no longer trust their own hackers? In any case, cybercrime has mutated into a massive problem for all of us - more incomprehensible than Corona, but with serious implications for our culture of security and trust. Damage caused by data theft, industrial espionage and sabotage rose by more than 100% in one year, from EUR 103 billion to EUR 224 billion. This is more than twice the Austrian federal budget, it corresponds to three times the annual turnover of German property and casualty insurers or 112 times the premiums generated here from transport and aviation insurance. Insured losses in the cyber sector have increased so much that normal all-risk insurance policies now exclude these risks everywhere. Which brings us to NFT and its taxation. Professionals have to pay tax on the profits even if they are out of the one-year holding period. Amateurs can sell up to 3 NFTs a year without being classified as professional traders. The question is whether all that is mined and traded in the respective coin corners appears in any statement of assets? And the items are not physical either - not even in the country ... .

Caravaggio is beautiful and wild - but unfortunately firmly installed in a Roman villa whose public auction intention was initially unsuccessful due to a lack of bids. Let's see, with a demand of half a billion, it must be possible to find someone who might pay in Bitcoin...

In Cologne, there was again a premiere at the Schauspiel on Friday: something with Moliere by Frank Castorf. Presumably the director saw his time limitation to 4 hours of incomprehensible sequences of banalities as a great concession to Corona - after all, one had to wear a mask permanently for more than 4 hours instead of the 6 hours of the last production of this gentleman. There were also younger visitors who laughed occasionally. Otherwise there was a rather eloquent silence. But how low Cologne has sunk could be experienced when collecting the cloakroom: The cloakroom attendants were not allowed to accept tips because they are employed by the city! How stupid is that? Does this make a city-employed service provider corrupt? Do all city employees of all sexes then want to stand in the cloakroom at the theatre instead of being available for administrative tasks in the offices for which citizens no longer get appointments anyway? Or is it supposed to compensate the citizen for enduring hours behind the mask and paying admission for it?

I wish you a brilliant week, also with great enjoyment of art.

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