Secure, but then again not – what museums are doing to protect their fine art

The most important art show for contemporary art – Art Basel – starts for the 44th time on June 18th. Over the years, art has become more and more in demand. Damages, however, can be expensive. Eric Wolzenburg, Head of Art Insurance at Allianz Germany, tells us what museums and private individuals are doing to protect their artwork.

 

Allianz.com: What are museums doing to protect their artwork?

Wolzenburg: Museums have specialists called registrars who monitor the transportation of art into and out of the museum, draw up painstakingly precise condition reports whenever works on loan are sent or received, and commission specialized transport companies to pack sensitive pieces in climate-controlled containers. In addition, they have an overall security strategy in place that consists of security guards, and mechanical and electronic security systems. Museums have to maintain a good reputation if they are to continue to hold the trust of lenders and collaboration partners.
 

What do private customers, associations or non-specialists do?

To meet the needs of its demanding customers, we employ a team of around 30 experts: ten specialists responsible for insurance policies, and over 20 art underwriters from a wide-range of specializations. Our art experts at Allianz are more than insurers. Not only do they verify the market value of the artworks and antiques in question, they also advise customers on everything from light-protected mounting to framing and restoration methods to theft protection.
 

What is the minimum amount of insurance than can, should or must be taken out on a piece of art?

It’s really up to the owner. There are people with art collections worth millions who don’t think it is necessary to take out insurance and others with only three pieces who take out insurance immediately. Every customer has to reach their own pain threshold; the moment when they begin to think, “OK. Now I need some insurance.”
 

Eric Wolzenburg Head of Art Insurance at Allianz Germany: Museums have to maintain a good reputation if they are to continue to hold the trust of lenders and collaboration partners.
Eric Wolzenburg Head of Art Insurance at Allianz Germany: Museums have to maintain a good reputation if they are to continue to hold the trust of lenders and collaboration partners.

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Corinna Hartmann
Allianz Deutschland
Phone +49.89.3800-2470
Send email

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