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One sixth of the new year is already behind us. What's in the next 5/6 - we'll see.
90 years ago today, the Reichstag burned in Berlin and served the Nazis to cement their seizure of power. It then took a little over 12 years for the Allies (and in this case it was the Russians) to raise their flag on that building. Before that, millions of people had to lose their lives because of Hitler Germany's racial policies and war of aggression. You don't hear about Putin Russia yet. But it could come in the time after the end of the Ukraine war, when people in the country try to put distance between themselves and the current regime. The same is conceivable in Iran or other totalitarian states where torture and other injustices committed by the state are the order of the day.
On the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the exhibition "Russian War Crimes" was opened in Kyiv. Some people were able to see parts of it in Cologne last November in the exhibition "Worth Fighting For". The exhibition is now being made digitally accessible. We are still looking for a speaker of any vocal gender who can record the Ukrainian text. Recording is now taking place on Thursday. Please contact us if you are interested!
As you know, the largest Vermeer exhibition ever is taking place in Amsterdam. Out of 39 secured paintings, almost 30 can be seen there in the Rijksmuseum. All tickets are already sold. Now we can only hope for an extension. A great success for an exhibition and the carbon footprint has not been talked about yet. Thematic exhibitions that follow motifs over several centuries are coming into fashion: after "Susanna. Images of a Woman from the Middle Ages to MeToo" at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, there is now at the Barberini in Potsdam: Sun. "The Source of Light in Art" with, among other things, the key work by Monet that gave Impressionism its name.
There is relative calm on the insurance front at the moment. Some art insurers are trying to raise premium rates and wonder why it is so difficult in a competitive market. Others are thinking aloud about entering the market, now that there seems to be some money for risk again ... . Still others don't care about the damage to their own reputation and for them the exclusion of war in the event of theft in Poland is enough if the goods come from Ukraine. Putin is slapping himself on the back because this behaviour plays right into his hands. Incidentally, just like the call by Ms Wagenknecht and Ms Schwarzer to hand over Ukraine defencelessly to Russia's great power fantasies. All under the guise of wanting peace.
If you want to travel this week, go to Dubai, where Art Dubai is taking place. The emirate does not sanction Russia - perhaps an opportunity to start talks. As far as war crimes are concerned, as harsh as it sounds, every Russian interlocutor is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It just takes nerve.
An art fair is also taking place this week in Auckland, New Zealand. Next week there will be a report by Gil Schneider from Singapore.
We wish you a peaceful and inspiring week, stay in touch with us.
Stephan Zilkens and the team of Zilkens Fine Art Insurance Broker GmbH in Solothurn and Cologne