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"Worth fighting for" - It might still be possible to open the exhibition in Cologne on 14th of November - everything now depends on a funding commitment from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), which still has funds available for projects in connection with Ukrainian art and artists. If the funds are approved this week, we will have a maximum of 35 days to realise the largest solo exhibition of contemporary Ukrainian art on German soil to date. Last Friday, the two curators Bart de Baere from Antwerp and Bjorn Geldhof from Kyiv developed a concept in the hall that shows different positions in 8 chapters. A colleague from Kyiv is taking over the coordination - now one feels like before a rocket launch: the countdown is running and one hopes that the launch will take place and not have to be aborted 5 1/2 weeks earlier due to a defect in the power line. At the end of the week we will know more - keeping our fingers crossed helps and we are grateful for it.
Today is the general meeting of the Bundesverband Deutscher Galerien und Kunsthändler e.V. in Frankfurt, where a new board will also be elected. Karin Schulze-Frieling had made her office available a few months ago because she was looking for and found a challenge outside the art trade after successfully working at Galerie Utermann. We had her with us as a competent panelist at a Cologne art insurance talk and appreciated her always clear, engaging and friendly way of getting to the heart of even difficult matters.
Austria has opted for continuity and confirmed Federal President van der Bellen in office for another 6 years. Congratulations to the country where the president can walk through the mountains without bodyguards.
Lower Saxony has confirmed the incumbent as Prime Minister, albeit with 3.5% less of the vote. There will be 4 parties in parliament, one of which is conspicuous for picking up malcontents of all shades, whose basic mood is not necessarily friendly to democracy. On the other hand, 40% of eligible voters seem to have no interest in exercising their right to vote. These are possibly the real destroyers of democratic manners, because their opinion is not even partially represented. They sit in the warm and do not budge as long as they are reasonably well off. Elsewhere, people die every day in an attempt to gain the right to vote. Maybe Germany needs a bit of Belgium, where voting is compulsory - abstaining at the ballot box still has a different quality than doing so in front of it.
"We apologize for the inconvenience" users of the blockchain Binance had to read after tokens worth over 100 million USD were stolen over a bridge. 2 billion is said to have already changed hands this year through targeted cyber theft in 2022. Cyber insurers are reporting poor loss ratios and are adjusting their premiums upwards. There are other loss scenarios that are weighing on the insurance industry worldwide and driving up the cost of the product. For example, insured losses across all lines of business from Hurricane Ian are estimated between USD 53 and 74 billion. Some of this will also reach the markets outside the affected regions.
FRIEZE starts in London in the middle of the week - after Brexit and Corona, it will be interesting to see how vital the previous European Centre for Art Trade is today. We'll be able to read about it here at Kobel next Monday.
Wishing everyone a vital start into the week
Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Cologne and Solothurn