BY ROSANNA O. PERIQUET
ILLUSTRATION BY SEAN EIDDER
Over the past decade, the Philippine art scene has become a powerful hub of self-expression. With a steady stream of artists, galleries and museums, and highly anticipated art exhibits making their debuts each year, it hardly comes as a surprise that Filipinos have grown more interested in collecting art. Filipino artists, too, have been on the receiving end of the rise this interest—just recall the year of 2011, when Filipino artist Ronald Ventura’s Grayground, a large painting depicting horses in battle, sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for a whopping $1.1 million.
As is the case with acquiring anything of significant value, collecting art—especially works that have been publicly appraised by auction houses and the like—comes with a thrill, but also certain risks. Treat it as you would any other property: Artwork is susceptible to fire, flooding incidents, theft, and accidents, and it is now more crucial than ever to be protected from these unfortunate possibilities. It has, after all, happened in the past: In 1987, Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist (1499-1500), a painting reported to be worth $30 million dollars, was shot at by an angered social activist in London’s National Gallery. In another instance in 2010, Pablo Picasso’s The Actor (1904) met a costly accident while on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A woman tripped, causing a six-inch tear on the piece estimated to be worth $130 million.
This is where the convenience of specialized art insurance comes in. Art Fair Philippines’ official insurance provider, Malayan Insurance, also happens to be the country’s leading provider of non-life insurance, offering programs tailored for individual or corporate owners. These policies cover risks for paintings, sculptures, antiques, and other collectibles under private collections, university collections, art galleries, museums, auction houses, and exhibitions. Two types of art insurance are most popular: Title insurance, which protects one’s ownership of the artwork, while property insurance, which covers all types of risks, including theft, loss, and damage of the artwork. The company stands by an “all-risk” insurance, which protects multi-million-peso art collections regardless of the circumstances, such as whether a piece was on display or in transit. Interestingly, art can also be insured against a decrease in value due to minor accidents. In special cases, damage due to unexpected extreme changes in temperature and humidity can also be covered.
It is undeniable that in recent years, the Philippine art scene has flourished to greater heights. The availability of comprehensive art insurance means that you can rest easy knowing you’re protecting a beloved piece of art.