Serves to reinforce the importance of Disaster Preparedness
Next to oxygen, water is the most essential element to human life. However, it is a serious threat to objects of art according to AXA ART’s Fine Art Expert, Matthew Knight, “Water can be hazardous to works of art in many forms. Whether from excessive humidity, accidental pipe burst (which the insurance industry defines as “falling water”) or from mother nature’s fury in the form of heavy rains or coastal flooding (defined as “rising water”); the presence of water has proven to be very damaging to all artworks, especially photographs.” Knight goes on to say, “The risks can be reduced by carrying out simple precautions and having emergency disaster plans in place.”
Nowhere were water’s damaging effects to works of art more evident than from the unprecedented and costly super-storm, Hurricane Sandy. AXA ART has chosen casualties of this storm for presentation at its lounge during the 2013 AIPAD Show. On display will be damaged photographs, To Fight with Crossed Arms, 2007, ed 4/5, by prolific Chinese contemporary artist, Ai Weiwei.
Christiane Fischer, President & CEO of AXA Art in the Americas observed, “Sandy was the costliest event for the art insurance industry by far and we are now living in a post-Sandy world. We all will need to adjust our disaster planning strategies to protect important works such as To Fight with Crossed Arms, from becoming victims of water damage.”
Over its more than 50 years of operation, AXA ART has seen and settled a variety of natural disaster claims, internationally. The global art insurance specialist advises that while some accidental damages can neither be foreseen nor deterred, there are practical steps that can be applied to prevent the total destruction of works of art whether on display, in transit or in storage. Key components in the planning strategies of collectors’ and galleries’ should include evacuation and catastrophe preparedness as well as maintaining proper storage for art collections and inventories.
“Ultimately our goal is to support collectors as they seek to safeguard the value and longevity of their collections,” Fischer concluded.
Reference AXA ART’s Collection Management Series for general information gathered from conservators and worldwide expert partners on caring for collections. For more detailed information on protecting your possessions, AXA ART’s Claims and Risk Management teams are available resources.
Re-posted from MarketWire.