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Zilkens' News Blog

Dr. Stephan Zilkens

Stephan Zilkens

Zilkens' News Blog 51 2022

Dresden rejoices - the jewels stolen three years ago by the Remmo clan are back - at least in part and we celebrate with the Dresden State Collections. And we are also a little surprised - the first thought after the robbery was the suspicion that clan criminality might be behind it. Family ties have many talents and secrecy. Obviously, however, it was a misjudgement that a gifted diamond cutter from the family would do the re-cutting. Fortunately for Dresden and all of us - in a few months we will be able to marvel again in the Saxon metropolis - presumably after the old security concept has been revised.

Julia Ries - and the market knows this now - is moving from ERGO to Generali to take care of the further development of art insurance there. Johannes Kasek, who has been operationally responsible for ERGO's art business up to now, is also going to Munich with her. One hears from ERGO that it wants to cut back on volatile business. Large risks no longer seem so desirable. Presumably it costs too much capital backing. The old Victoria (now disappeared in ERGO's belly) had the chance to become the leading art insurer in the 1970s. They failed to recognise the opportunity and left the field to the small Nordstern (now in the belly of AXA). Now, when the market for art insurance still promises growth potential, good people are leaving. It will be interesting to see whether something will happen soon in this special segment at ERGO.

The exhibition "Worth Fighting For" in Cologne ended last Wednesday. About 3,000 people visited it. We had great support from many sides and probably cannot name all those who contributed to the success. The BKM, MKW NRW and Kunststiftung NRW deserve special mention here, as well as the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kyiv and the MUHKA in Antwerp. On Saturday, various transport companies were in the courtyard to take the works back to Antwerp, Mechelen, Vienna, Maastricht and Kyiv. My admiration goes to the supervisors who held out in the halls at sometimes quite low temperatures. The halls have not yet had an exhibition trial run in winter and the air in the heating system could not be removed while the exhibition was running, that would have been too risky for the art. We are now concentrating again on our real business - the love of art and its insurance.

Insiders know: Christmas is at the end of the week - a time of celebration that is losing more and more of its Christian roots but is still used by many as a welcome time-out. Some galleries close the week before Christmas and only open again in the new year. After Art Antwerp last week, the hustle and bustle of the art market is also silent this week. The London Art Fair on 18 January will kick things off again next year - but it is doubtful whether this will help to restore London's marketplace to its pre-Brexit glory.

We wish you and all those close to you a peaceful fourth week of Advent and, in the end, a wonderful Christmas without any neighbourly nastiness. We wish the ugly neighbour the mouse hole into which he can crawl, so that others can show his people the way to happiness and prosperity in peace with all neighbours.

Merry Christmas

Yours, 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