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With the aim of protecting art in the future, ARTE Generali is committed to share its expertise and know-how with new generations.

On May 11th, our colleague Cristina Resti, Professor of the Master "Professione Registrar" of IED Accademia Galli, together with SOS Archivi and EDAM organized an in-person training. The goal of this session was to show students how to protect and safely evacuate artworks from Museums or Cultural Heritage sites in the case of a flood or earthquake emergency.

The seminar took place at the MAGA museum in Gallarate (Italy), and we would like to thank Museum Director Emma Zanella and Engineer Budelli for accompanying us on this training.

Watch the whole event below 👇

ARTE Generali enters into a scientific partnership with high-level educational institutions to carry out a research project aimed at the preservation of cultural heritage affected by climate change.


In cooperation with the Italian Mazzini LAB and the University of Perugia, as well as the Austrian University of Continuing Education in Krems and the ITAM in the Czech Republic, ARTE Generali will provide risk assessment-oriented education to well-trained and qualified people in the field of cultural heritage risk assessment across Europe. Over 100 relevant international and national stakeholders will be involved in the ambitious project, sharing their expertise in cultural heritage risk assessment analysis and combining it with building insurance expertise and in-depth knowledge of the visual arts.


ARTE Generali, which offers specialized art insurance in various countries across Europe,  stands out for its comprehensive, innovative and personalized solutions that include insurance expertise, art knowledge, services and assistance, and digital tools. In doing so, ARTE Generali cooperates closely with partners on improved solutions that add enormous value to the art market. The aim of the Erasmus+ project is the integration of new skills and competences of risk assessment and prevention of material cultural heritage. The knowledge of international risk assessors specialized in different disciplines will be pooled in research to fill this knowledge gap and ensure it for the future.


The aim of working with partners is to significantly minimise the negative impacts of climate change on cultural heritage by extending first-class education and developing specialized risk assessors. By sharing the necessary scientific knowledge which ARTE Generali can provide, technology has the potential to help close the skill gaps in art and culture management . The development of a new curriculum specialized in cultural heritage in relation to climate change will lay the foundations for new methodologies for risk managers.


The Erasmus+ project will initially run for two years. The research will start in March 2022 with a kick-off meeting in Rome. The presentation of the results of the research is planned for July 2024. At least 50 applicants will be trained to become cultural heritage risk managers by 2024.


More information on the official website https://www.charisma-academy.eu/



how to manage a collection: Inventories

People either love making lists or hate it. In this regard, there doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in the way we approach life. While the idea of creating an inventory list for an art collection might fill some people with joy, other people dread it and most likely won’t do it. However, having an art collection requires a sense of organisation, as a lot of the potential value of the collection is linked to it being well documented. And there are more benefits to the thorough documentation of a collection.


Why to document?

The benefits of documenting your collection are manifold. Most importantly, they will become important if you want to have your collection valued, be it for insurance purposes or in the case of a sale or for the benefit of estate building. Iris Handke Head of ARTE Generali, Germany puts it like this: Good documentation is essential in insuring it for various reasons. Certainly, because you need as much information as you can get to evaluate a work of art properly and so have an adequate basis for the insurance. On the other hand, the better you are documented, the easier and faster is the process when it comes to a claim. By the way, if an artwork has been stolen, the chances for recovering it increase considerably.

But if this doesn’t seem relevant for you if you’re in the process of putting a collection together, it might be worth to listen to American Scholar Susan Stewart in her book “On Longing” who puts the deeper meaning of a collection system as follows: ‘The collection is not constructed by its elements; rather, it comes to exist by means of its principle of organization.’ What she means is that as a whole the collection is not only its physical artefacts but the memories, stories, locations, of where the individual works came from and where they are being kept. They communicate the essence of the collection as much as the individual works.  Often collection documentation is of vital essence if the collector is not present when decisions on objects have to be made.

In practice you might ask yourself: Are you sure you remember the name of the artist whose work you bought on a trip to Singapore 10 years ago? You thought you would remember the provenance of the amazing 18th Century print you bought in a local auction house but do you really? You are being asked to lend a piece for a museum exhibition, but the institution wants to make sure it is genuine and asks for a copy of the certificate of authenticity as the work isn’t signed. You want to contact the gallery you bought a sculpture from as there is a bit of damage to the work, but you can’t remember when and where you bought it. You had to pack an artwork away for a while and want to put it back up, but you didn’t take any photos and now you can’t find the installation instructions. You think you owned a work by this artist but where could it be?

If any of this sounds only vaguely familiar, then it is probably time to organise yourself and your collection a bit more. Then it is time to devise an inventory of your collection which does not only document the key information of each work but also ensures that all relevant documents belonging to it are in a safe and easily accessible digital or physical place.


What to document?

Making an inventory list needn’t be daunting. There is no right or wrong in the way you document your collection as long as it is documented. This might be handwritten notes in a folder, a simple digital Word or Excel list or, if you have a large collection, you might invest in a collection management software and even hire a curator to manage the details of it all. Anything will be better than not committing to it.

Katrin Stoll, CEO of Neumeister auctions in Munich reports how her auction house received about 60 wooden crates with objects in early 2022. The crates hadn’t been opened for over 60 years and no inventory was available. All they knew was that they came from the former castle of the counts of Württemberg in the former Silesian city of Carlsruhe, now Pokój, in Poland. While the castle itself was destroyed in 1945 many of its chattels were transported to Germany and survived the war. However, most of them were never unpacked and remained property of Count Ferdinand von Württemberg who passed away in 2020. Now over 600 objects were catalogued and are being sold.

But so much vital information about the collection will forever be lost and the challenges of cataloguing a collection in hindsight are numerous. Missing artists or makers, queries about dating, provenance, and documentation of restorations are only a few. It is much better to stay on top of the game and begin an inventory right away.

The most important question is what information needs to be recorded:

  •  One important element is to record the ownership. A piece might belong to you personally, your spouse or be in the name of your company – they all hang in the same location, but it is important to note who owns them.
  • Speaking of location, note where objects are – are they in one of your properties, in your office building, summer house, storage space, on loan? Make sure you note specific locations and update this information regularly, especially if you have objects or art works you don’t live with, or which are in drawers or professional art storage. Don’t just override previous information, add to it.
  • Each objects needs its own entry and should have a specific ID, so that object entry and associated documents can be matched.
  • The actual object should be inventoried according to standard museum practice if possible. The Getty ID system is a useful marker. Minimum requirements include Identifying number, type of object, maker/artist, title, medium, dimensions, year of creation, edition size, and possibly a description.
  • Ensure you keep records of any associated documents such as invoices, certificates, provenance details, exhibition lists and for more complex works installation notes and maybe packing information.  Some conceptual artworks also come with information of how to recreate a work for example if you move and it is site specific. Ensure you keep the information of where and when you bought a piece to which price.
  • Photos especially of important details or how the object looks installed or any damages it might already have
  • You might also want to record what you paid for the work, what it is insured for, and what the current value is, if you have this information. Additional costs, such as storage, transport, and framing are also useful to record.
  • Status: Where is the work right now – and make sure to update the information as required especially if you have storage spaces for art objects beyond your own properties.

Keep this information up to date and add for example exhibition loans or if the work was illustrated or is mentioned somewhere. All this is part of the history of the work and can potentially add value to it.


How to document your collection

If you feel that your collection is big enough or important enough to warrant more than having a safe place for all the documents of your works maybe in an A4 folder or a filing cabinet, then it is worthwhile looking at an online collection management system with safe cloud storage. This allows the collector to easily share works from their collection, maybe for a valuation, or double check if they really need to add this very special object, or if maybe they already have some similar ones in their possession already.  

Think carefully how you want to keep the data of your collection system and additional photos and documents. Do you want to link them online with a paper filing system? Then ensure the paperwork is safely stored and can’t be destroyed by fire or flooding. Or do you want to scan all paperwork and ensure everything is filed digitally? Whatever it is you decide to do, ensure the system is transparent to third parties, and accessible for a long period of time. Ensure that you update your digital systems as much as your other digital files and that all paperwork is in safe places on ideally archival paper stock that doesn’t deteriorate.

There are now different systems and services on the market that can help you, ranging from very elaborate and expensive client management systems to easily workable mobile Apps such as the one Arte Generali is offering its clients as part of their insurance services. Artgalleria (https://www.artgalleria.com/) and Artbinder (https://www.artbinder.com/) or (https://www.collectorsystems.com/) are examples of high-end payable products. While CMS systems require often not only fees to be paid, but also time to get to know the system itself, Apps today make it very easy to enter the information and to keep it safe. [https://artegenerali.com/news/discover-arte-generali-app]. All the systems however allow you to have your collection easily at hand, wherever you are. Handke says about the App:

We wanted to find a fast and easy way for our clients to have all the information about their collection in one place. We all live with our smartphones and our app is a convenient way to manage your collection and your insurance at the same time.



An art inventory is essential for your collection. It helps you track your works and creates an aide memoire of your collecting journey, provides important information for your insurance and is a guide should you or someone on your behalf want to sell items from your collection. It is a record of your passions and communicates your collections to others – hopefully in a way that can make sense without the collector’s input. You don’t need to do it all at once, start with one object, one room, one type of collection – step by step.


Useful Links:




  • Tailor-made product solutions for private art collectors
  • New offer in cooperation with international experts of the global unit of ARTE Generali
  • Expertise, service and insurance cover from a single source

Vienna/Munich - With Generali ARTE Insurance, Generali is expanding its modular product range. By cooperating with ARTE Generali, the Munich-based global business unit of Generali specialised in art insurance, Generali now also offers unique solutions to cover damage to works of art to Austrian private customers. Insurance cover is provided for destruction, damage and loss. These coverages, tailored to the needs of customers, are complemented by the high level of expertise and the dense network of ARTE Generali's art specialists.


Walter Kupec, Chief Insurance Officer Property/Casualty of Generali, is pleased to be able to support Austrian art collectors in their passion: "With ARTE Generali, we have unique technical, artistic and digital expertise to accompany our customers throughout their lives, also in the art field. This comprehensive all-risk coverage comprehensively safeguards personal art objects in the private sphere."


Jean Gazancon, CEO of ARTE Generali: " Austria has been for centuries a synonym for outstanding art. Great artists from Austria have shaped the art scene in Europe. Private collections, museums and galleries in Austria are renowned throughout the world. I am very pleased that ARTE Generali, together with Generali Versicherung in Austria, is finally able to bring its unique art insurance concept to the Austrian market."

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