Art News

Everything you need to know when lending or borrowing an artwork

Loaning artworks opens the door for more people to experience and engage with diverse culture through exhibitions. However, in the current climate and political scenario, the security of our artworks is constantly under threat.

“It is necessary and no longer procrastinable to acquire specific skills in the field of security, to increase the professionalism of the lending process and to prepare seriously for the management of emergencies" –

 In her latest article, Cristina Resti, Art expert and Art Network Manager at ARTE Generali, delves into the process of lending art, highlighting the fundamental steps to be taken and considering small actions to mitigate the damage.


  1. Exhibition

If you love watches, you are probably already aware of the massive increase in watch theft around the world.

We asked one of the foremost experts in the field of art recovery, Christopher A. Marinello, CEO & Founder of Art Recovery International LLC, to give us an insight into the current situation and practical tips on how to protect our watches.


How do you explain this epidemic of stolen watches?

When the iPhone first came out, everyone was talking about how it was going to kill the high-end watch industry.  The industry responded with technological advances, new materials, and more exclusive models while still adhering to traditional Swiss watchmaking standards of excellence.  Prices soared for both new and vintage timepieces and thieves took notice.  Criminals found high-end timepieces easy to steal from tourists around the world and easy to transport to fences and gangs who would buy the watches or use them as a form of currency.  Law enforcement failed to respond to this uptick in crime due to Covid restrictions, budget and staffing cuts, or outright indifference.  Today, watch owners need to be extremely vigilant about wearing expensive timepieces in most world capitals.


What can I do to protect my watches?

  • Keep every receipt and manufacturer's certificate in a secure place, separate from where your watches are stored.
  • Take digital photos and record all movement and case serial numbers.
  • Try to avoid bringing expensive watches on vacation where they can be vulnerable to theft in the streets or hotels and nightclubs. 
  • Never post your collection on social media especially when posting your vacation plans.
  • Consider theft-resistant clasps like Orkos' "Watchlock" which makes it harder for thieves to remove your watch from your wrist
  • Insurance Insurance Insurance.  Have your collection properly insured and update your scheduled values annually.


What can I do if it's too late and my watch has been stolen?

  • Never chase down the thieves. They may be armed and extremely dangerous. Your watch can be replaced, your life cannot.
  • Report the theft to the police immediately.  Keep a copy of the report or crime reference numbers even if you don't have faith that law enforcement will investigate the crime.
  • Report the theft to your insurance company as soon as possible. 
  • Report the theft to the manufacturers who maintain databases of stolen watches.  The stolen watches may be located when they are submitted for services years later.
  • Report the theft to public and private watch databases. There are many to choose from.
  • If your watch is located, contact Art Recovery International (ARI) who will help you develop a strategy to recover the timepiece. Resist confronting the seller yourself who may simply disappear once they are notified of being in possession of a stolen watch. Do not allow watch databases to handle the recovery. They often represent dealers and auction houses and will have a conflict of interest.
  • Consider issuing a Theft Alert with a REWARD through ARI for information leading to the recovery of your stolen timepiece.
  • Be patient!  It may take years before the stolen watch surfaces for sale or service somewhere in the world.



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  1. What can I do to protect my watches?

Recent climate events have shown how the intensity of natural events can lead to destructive situations. This is why protecting paintings is essential to migitate the risks.

Recent climatic events have forcefully demonstrated how the intensity of natural events such as rainfall, storms and hail can give rise to accumulations of water, creating destructive floods. In addition, intense winds or tornadoes can easily uncover roofs, shatter skylights and windows, uproot trees and cause damage to neighboring homes.

The alteration of the water cycle and temperature as well as the frequency of extreme events such as floods and droughts will increasingly impact our heritage. To meet future challenges, it will be necessary to adopt prevention and safety strategies, starting with the identification of risk scenarios.

But let us see how a collector can implement a plan for hazard assessment, risk mitigation and prioritization by applying it to his or her own collection.



Geographical, topographical, and climatic conditions are decisive in determining how much a location is at risk, which is why it is always advisable to know the territory in which one lives. One should check on the local hydrogeological hazard of reference and the return timeframe of catastrophic events on risk maps. The insurer can be an excellent interlocutor in this case. Once the environmental and natural risks to a given geographical area, even historically, have been identified, it will be  necessary  to assess their connection in terms of probability and impact of the event on the location of the risk (building) as well as the items contained therein: identification of water accumulation locations such as underground or basement floors, sloped ramps, or pocket terraces (cut-away roof terrace), solar terraces, confluence of several roof pitches and rainwater drains.

Maintenance and inspection of roofs, gutters, flashings, and skylights should be carried out at least twice a year. Drains must be inspected regularly, as climate change has introduced the phenomena of heavy rainfall concentrated in a few minutes. Therefore, many rainwater disposal systems are now inadequate and undersized.



Once the risks have been identified and the possible scenarios have been catalogued (flooding due to heavy rain, flooding due to overflowing watercourses, flooding due to roof leaks or breaches), it will be necessary to undertake preventive activities to mitigate the risks and protect the works of art.

External protection actions will be carried out in relation to the structural characteristics of the building containing the assets to be protected, also in relation to their dislocation. If the works are located on the ground floor it will be necessary to protect them by raising them off the ground, thus preventing contact with water in the event of flooding. But in the case of more serious flooding situations, it would be a good idea to move them to the upper floors of the building in areas identified as safe. For this it will be appropriate to place works on the ground floor that can easily and quickly be moved or works made of materials resistant to water and humidity.

In order to be able to use a rescue order, a list (the list attached to the insurance policy can also be used) of the works to be evacuated, called the Priority List, must be drawn up.

Objects that are impossible to remove either because of their weight/size or because of their large number (e.g. books that make up a library) should be set up from the outset with the 'safe room' concept in mind. For objects that are easy to move, on the other hand, materials for packing them, such as plastic boxes, tyvek, plastic bags, etc., must be prepared well beforehand.

Always remember that in the event of a flood, property will be damaged not only by water, but also by mud, debris, and suspended oil matter.

We do not recommend placing collections of any kind in basements or semi-basements, especially paper materials such as archival/library collections or other assets consisting of organic materials.

In the event of seepage from the roof, one should have plastic material to cover the goods and to set up all the paintings with small spacers from the wall that allow water to percolate down the wall without contact with the work.



At the time of an emergency, the emergency management instructions or evacuation orders issued by the relevant bodies must always  be  followed.  Having a clear prioritization of actions  to be  taken  in an emergency is essential in order not to endanger people's safety.

  • Preparing a list of useful telephone numbers to call in the event of an emergency is one of the  most important but often underestimated preparations.
  • The emergency kit should include: batteries, gloves, rubber boots, mask, torches, scissors, tape and plastic packing material. At the time of the emergency, if the event will have affected several entities (e.g. flood or inundation) it will be difficult to find materials of any kind. Plastic materials will also help in the event of roof leaks, to cover objects that cannot be moved (in situ protection).
  • Refer to a disaster recovery company that can support you in the event of the artwork being moved to another location. Ensure that whoever removes the assets follows a priority rescue order, evacuating  the most important objects from the room or floor affected by the disaster event, taking into account ease of removal, speed and personal safety. The Priority List will be used to do this.


Here are some useful actions to be performed safely and according to the possibilities of locating objects and their maneuverability:

  • Give priority to goods made of materials most susceptible to damage in the event of flooding, such as: wood, paper, photographs, paintings on canvas and wood, and objects made of organic materials.
  • Place the paintings on canvas or board horizontally and free them from frames and glass.
  • Allow the goods to dry out if possible, by bringing the relative humidity below 40 percent through dehumidification systems, ensure good air circulation in the rooms with fans, and keep the room temperature below 19 degrees to avoid/reduce the growth of mould.
  • For materials consisting of paper, such as books (if wet, but not soaked with water), one can proceed by inserting sheets of blotting paper every 15 to 20 pages and replacing them several times so as to promote the gradual absorption of water. 
  • For completely wet paper materials proceed with drying or freezing within 72 hours of damage.
  • Notify your trusted restorer and, if you are the owner of a cultural asset, immediately report to the relevant bodies, advising them of the urgency of implementing emergency measures involving moving and securing the listed asset.



  • Contact companies specialising in cleaning up after floods/flooding and providing dehumidifiers to manage environmental parameters (temperature and humidity).
  • Activate a monitoring routine for assets still in situ.
  • Take appropriate security measures to prevent theft or vandalism.
  1. Ampel-unter-wasser

We talked about prevention before leaving for vacation, but what should you do in case theft or damages occur?

💡 Dirk Pörs, Senior Claims Manager at ARTE Generali, offers valuable guidance on how to handle such situations:

✔️ If you notice a burglary when you return (the front door is open, a window is smashed) do not enter the property under any circumstances! The perpetrators might still be in the building. Call the police immediately and wait a distance from the building until they arrive and give you further instructions.

✔️ If you are still on holiday and a break-in at home is reported to you, first inform the police.

✔️ Get an overview of any damage that has occurred to the building. If possible, have damaged windows or doors repaired by an emergency service so that the building or apartment is safe again. Your insurance company will be happy to help you organize this.

✔️ Make a list of stolen or lost items and send it to the police and your insurer. This is of great importance not only for adjusting your claim, but also for a quick and targeted search for the missing items.

✔️ in case of water in your home, locate the source and turn off the water to that part of the pipe system. Inform your insurance company who will help you with mitigating the damage and organizing “first aid” measures.

✔️ Relocate artworks in rooms affected by water or storm into other parts of the house or apartment if they are in danger of getting damaged.

✔️ Always document the damage with digital photos.

✔️ Inform your insurance company. We are here to help you and will be at your side to navigate a claims situation.


Tips shared by Dirk Pörs - Claims Manager at ARTE Generali

Summer is here and we want to support you to leave well-prepared for your holidays.

We prepared a checklist of important TODOs that you should not neglect if you travel with your jewelry.

💡 📢 Christopher A. Marinello, CEO & Founder, Art Recovery International, LLC, points out: “Please don’t bring the bling, but if you must, there are a number of safety precautions you should take to mitigate the risks.”

However, if you still want to take your jewels on holiday but don't want to take the risk of them being stolen, please prepare yourself and go through this checklist.

✔️ Contact your insurance broker, review your coverage and exclusions and update your scheduled values. 
✔️ Make sure you have digital photos, receipts, certificates, and any serial numbers in a secure place.
✔️ Don’t show off and don’t discuss values with strangers. Criminals are watching you at hotel bars, dance clubs, swimming pools, and organised events.
✔️ Avoid crowded areas and keep your wits about you. Be aware that criminals will try and distract you while removing your valuables.  Always be on alert.
✔️ If a thief demands your jewlery, do not fight them off. Your jewlery can be replaced, your life cannot.
✔️ Report any losses immediately to the local police and obtain a crime reference number, even if you believe the authorities won’t lift a finger to help you.
✔️ The tiny hotel room safe is better than hiding valuables in your luggage. However, depending on the value, you might want to consider paying the hotel for higher security services.

Tips shared by Christopher A. Marinello – CEO & Founder, Art Recovery International, LLC   

Meet Hana Refai, Head of Privilege Club and Home Arte, who is taking care of ARTE Generali business in the Middle East.

Since three years, ARTE Generali has been operating in the Middle East in a partnership with Sukoon Insurance, formerly known as Oman Insurance. The Middle East is one of the most promising markets for the insurance dedicated to art and valuables, specially after the increase in art galleries, institutions, and private collections since the #AbuDhabiLouvre opened in 2018.

🤝 ARTE Generali and Sukoon Insurance are a perfect match: ARTE Generali is providing insurance expertise in art, jewelry and other valuable contents as well as an agile platform for quotations, underwriting and claims management. Due to its well-established distribution network, Sukoon has the market expertise to connect with high-net-worth clientele.

🎞️ Learn more about ARTE Generali’s set up there, what makes the art market in the Middle East different compared to Europe and future business development.

  1. Jean Gazancon taking photo in Abu Dhabi