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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 4 2023

On our own behalf: We are looking for employees for our company. On the one hand, we are looking for someone who combines insurance knowledge with an interest in art history and enjoys negotiating the right insurance solutions for clients in all lines of non-life insurance. On the other hand, we are looking for a trainee who wants to spend 12 hours a week gaining experience at the interface between art and insurance. The positions are currently advertised, but we are probably like a lot of companies in Germany - finding new employees is extremely difficult - Maybe you know someone who wants to change and expand their professional horizons? Then we would be happy to have your support!

For 11 months now, Ukraine has been defending freedom in Europe and has also received a great deal of support. However, the brutality with which the aggressor is acting against the civilian population of the country, almost in the style of a video game, requires further and stronger weapons for defence than those that are now being made available. For the past 11 months, even in Germany, it has been known that the danger of NATO's alliance trigger has come closer than we all would have thought possible before February 24, 2022. But instead of upgrading the existing weapon systems and sending signals to the manufacturers to switch from manufacture to industrial production, what happens? - nothing at all! Slowly, far too slowly, one realises the dilemma we have gotten ourselves into, even with the highest moral standards. Until 11 months ago, the parliamentary and the fourth power no longer reckoned with the fact that freedom and democracy have to be defended with weapons if necessary. "Si vis pacem para bellum" - was already known to Cicero in 43 B.C. and to Plato even before that - but who still has Latin in school today? What some visitors to the opening of the Cologne exhibition "Worth Fighting For" stated last year after the speeches, especially by local politicians, holds true: "We now understand why Ukraine will win this war and we can be glad not to have been attacked." The new German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius should be doing other things than making the Leopards line up for roll call.

This week, the calendar gets tight again for art fair travellers: to Geneva for Art Geneva from 26-29 January and then to Brussels for BRAFA from 29 January to 5 February. The field of participants in Geneva seems more international than that in Brussels. Stefan Kobel will tell us next week how it was.

The population in Switzerland has developed considerably in recent years. Since 1981, the number of inhabitants has risen from 6.4 to 8.7 million, or 37%. Proportionally, the population in Switzerland is growing much faster than that of each of its neighbouring countries. A large proportion of the new citizens have immigrated from outside. Switzerland thus has a great deal of experience in dealing with migration and integration. We neighbouring countries should perhaps go there more often to learn how it could be done. Switzerland has more cantons than Germany has federal states and yet the number of public employees is not growing exponentially as in the German civil service. You can win elections in Switzerland if you oppose the proliferation of the apparatus. - Someone in this country should dare to do that ... .

In the art insurance sector, reinsurers are reducing the capacity they provide to one or the other cedant. This could make policies for large individual clients, storage facilities such as the Port Franc in Geneva or art exhibition insurance a little more expensive. Now that exhibition traffic to Corona is really starting up again a difficult signal.

The first Biennial opened yesterday in Jeddah. A strong showcase of art, especially of Arab origin, brought together from many countries of this common language area. This also means opening up.

This November, there will again be an art insurance talk during Art Cologne. It will be on November 17th at 10.00 am. We are currently working on the possible topics and the resulting panellists of all genders. Do you have any ideas? We are open to suggestions.

A good week to all of you

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