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Protection in the Face of Protest

Mashed potatoes. Tomato soup. Cake. Glue. Whatever the substance used, the message has been the same–is artwork more important than human life? Yep, we’re addressing recent actions from protesters that have targeted famous works of art. It seems likely that they are on the uptick, and any time a sensational news story draws attention, the risk of copycats rises too. We aren’t here to lay blame, cast judgment, or offer our two cents on the issues being protested, but instead to talk to folks who might be affected by this seeming trend.

Message, motivation, and philosophy aside, we’re talking about the potential damage or destruction of works of art that captivate people the world over. There are countless art works that we could imagine being targeted. Some are in private collections, some live in museums, and others are on loan from private owners.

Museums will likely be working to boost physical protections, educate and train security personnel, and implement ways to screen patrons. All of that could sound necessary to a museum owner, and private donors or lenders of art could begin to demand these steps be taken before releasing their collections for public display. As for insurance companies, we can’t yet say, but there could well be changes there too. But the truth remains that whether a famous painting is housed in a private home, a gallery, or a museum, there are always risks at play. And anyone who owns or creates art should have a strong protection game.

Natural disasters, equipment malfunctions, fire, and a host of environmental factors can do a number on any piece of artwork. And if it’s displayed inside a home or living space, then the owner is just as likely as a protester to fling leftovers on a famous and much-loved painting. All joking aside, the point is this: if you value something enough to invest in it, then don’t leave protection to chance.

At Insurance for Artists by Zinc, we know something about protection, and we want clients to know that we’re here for them, come what may. No matter how you’re involved in the art world, you know that accidents happen. Protestors have been targeting artwork for decades, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this ongoing threat could factor in to pricing, policy coverage, and more.

Artwork is valuable because we ascribe it value. We love it because we cherish what’s behind the artwork, and because art is generally considered to be uniquely ours–it’s close to our hearts and our minds. Besides those fluffy reasons we love art so much, there is the very real and practical consideration that most of it is one-of-a-kind. And when it comes to collectible items, rarity increases value and risk. On top of all these truths, we can’t ignore the uncertainty of art appraisal and valuation–$5,000 today, $50,000 tomorrow. When these factors combine, risk naturally increases, and insurance becomes a must-have.

If you’re a current artist, whether your work could be deemed controversial, used to make a political or social point, or just find itself in close proximity to works that do fit those descriptions, risk is all around. From hazards in your own studio and damage in transport to more public risks, you’ll want to take time out to look into protection as well.

An Insurance Company Built for Artists

At Insurance for Artists by Zinc, we understand the ins and outs of insuring art and we know where hidden dangers can lurk. It’s not your job to know all the risks you face–that’s on us, it’s why we exist. But it is up to you to reach out and see how we can help. It’s up for debate if recent protests have struck the chord they were hoping to hit, but one thing is for sure–they’ve helped us to focus on risk and protection in several arenas. To learn more about Insurance for Artists or any of the other brands in the Zinc family, please get in touch with our friendly team, we’re so ready to help.

This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.

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