8th Cologne Fine Art Insurance Talks 2019 was held during the 53. ART COLOGNE
"Art Bolzano Montevideo"? or The limits of the art market!? was the topic of the 8th Cologne Fine Art Insurance Talks of the Cologne Art Insurance Broker Zilkens Fine Art during the Art Cologne fair with around 200 invited guests on April 12th 2019.
Peter Grabowski was moderating Dr. Christina Berking, lawyer, specialist lawyer for copyright and media law at Buse Heberer Fromm in Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Dirk Boll, President, Europe & UK, Middle East, Russia & India, CHRISTIE'S London, Dr. Thomas Schneider, Hasenkamp Holding GmbH, Katrin Stoll, Managing Director NEUMEISTER Münchener Kunstauktionshaus and Eric Wolzenburg, Head of art insurance, Allianz Deutschland AG.
Dr. Stephan Zilkens marked the basics of the sector, which has an estimated worldwide turnover of almost 67 billion US dollars. With a turnover of 2.1 billion euros following official German Statistics and only 0,67 billion following Clair Mc Andrew, Germany has an inferior position, both internationally and in a national comparison with other industries. The extremely small-scale art trade has undergone rapid change over the past two decades. Theoretically, an art fair takes place anywhere in the world at any time of the year. In addition: new markets make even micro-enterprises global players who have to serve a global audience.
The originally planned topic of Brexit also entered the discussion. Apart from imponderables and initially chaotic conditions after leaving the European Union, the British art trade is likely to have clear tax advantages over its EU colleagues in the global context, explained Christina Berking, lawyer and speaker for the German Art Trade Interest Group at the beginning. Thomas Schneider of Hasenkamp tried to reassure that Day X would not hit logistics without preparation, even if the industry does not know exactly what is going to happen. Eric Wolzenburg of Allianz gave the all-clear signal: In January 2019, the British financial supervisory authority had presented a law that financial contracts within the framework of contractual run-off would still apply five years after an unregulated Brexit, insurance contracts even 15 years.
According to Dirk Boll, the most urgent precaution at Christie's is supply of paper to print catalogues, as this is imported from EU. While Christie's, as a global company, has teams all over the world that cover the respective regions and exchange knowledge among themselves both electronically and in real meetings, Katrin Stoll, with Neumeister in Munich, runs a smaller company at just one location. Her philosophy is to entrust each employee only with tasks in his or her area of competence and to relieve him or her of everything else. She herself no longer has to be on site everywhere. She takes a critical view of the isolation of cultures by emphasizing their respective peculiarities because it restricts the exchange not only of goods but also of ideas.
For Hasenkamp's international network, the advancing nationalization of logistics policy has not yet arrived. So far, even a steady professionalization of smaller local partners such as competitors has been observed. Allianz art insurance, on the other hand, only has German customers, but each of them is quite international and would like to be served by one provider, Wolzenburg said.
According to Boll's observation, art market has become both more networked and more diverse. The composition of collectors has expanded as a result of the new markets. In addition to classic collectors with intellectual backgrounds, more enthusiastic collectors with an investment perspective have been added, who also make intensive use of the social media to present themselves and their collections. This is a different way of dealing with them than in the West, which is more discreet.
Neither Boll nor Berking could answer unequivocally whether the globalization of the market would have changed art production, i.e. the content. Referring to the past - such as the Netherlands in the 17th century - Berking pointed out that social changes have always influenced art production.
Wolzenburg does not observe any art flipping with his customers, but he also observes a lot of young money, whose owners often lack experience and therefore risk awareness. The logistics specialist also sees a need for training. Due to the extremely rapid growth of the new markets, customers often first have to be made aware of the necessity of dealing with art.
On the other hand, globalization is an enrichment, Karin Stoll reported: a Chinese CEO visited her company personally and bought 30 works of art from a rather marginal area of western art. Probably because he wanted to point out to his employees that he thinks European.
According to Wolzenburg, everything in the global economy depends on China's growth, its sustainability and ecological compatibility. The logistics specialist Schneider sees no risks in the medium term. Berking hopes for a reflection on regional peculiarities and focal points of the respective marketplaces, because customers also show different wishes and behavior. Boll explained that growth in the recent past has come from the addition of companies that had previously been cut off. With the exception of Africa, this was no longer to be expected. He sees growth rather in a deepening of demand, because the understanding of art there is increasing.
With the participation of the audience, it was concluded that limits of the art market have shifted, but not fundamentally changed. In the long run, poverty has been greatly reduced. Over the past 200 years, general purchasing power has increased thirty-sevenfold. This is likely to continue and thus create opportunities for the art market to achieve sustainable growth.
The 9th Cologne Fine Art Insurance Talks will take place on Friday, 24 April 2020 probably with the theme "State Indemnity".
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