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Iconic Photograph Tells Cautionary Tale at AXA Art Lounge at AIPAD

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Ask any dealer presenting fine art for sale, whether collectors conduct their purchases online, at auctions or traditional art fairs, it is inescapable, a sale is not complete unless the artwork arrives at its destination in pristine condition.

AXA Art Insurance says “Expert handling and packing are critical components in preventing irreparable damage to works of art during transit”. With 60% of the company’s claims deriving from incidents due to improper handling, packing and transport conditions, the art insurance specialist is redoubling its efforts to keep collectors apprised of simple measures that can help to avert avoidable situations which often amount to substantial economic and emotional loss.

AXA Art will substantiate its message at the 2011 AIPAD Photography Show New York – on display at the company’s lounge will be an iconic photograph which was shipped from an international art fair and arrived at its local destination tattered and in irreparable condition. The framed artwork was improperly crated and soft-packed, causing the glass to shatter during the journey. The impact caused severe damage to the frame; remnants from the breakage penetrated the surface causing deep abrasions to the fiber of the photograph ---rendering this important visual a total loss.

Colin Quinn, Claims Director at AXA Art noted, “As an art insurer we understand that accidents do happen, that’s why we are in business. However, using adequate packing and crating materials would have helped to avert this incident”, Quinn concluded.

Auction and sales results over the past ten years point to the public’s growing interest, and increased movement in the collection of fine art photography, not to mention the medium’s growth in value. With so much at stake, AXA Art is using its presence at AIPAD to share its experiences and impart lessons learned.

Stephen Bulger, President of both The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) and Stephen Bulger Gallery said, “As members of AIPAD, our galleries are privileged to handle a large number of the most important photographs ever created. Our clients rely on our stewardship, a role we accept with the utmost seriousness. For this reason, we are delighted to have an art insurance partner like AXA Art who shares our passion for art and brings to the relationship access to expertise in specialized insurance, risk-prevention, valuation, preventative conservation and recovery”.

With more than 40 years of insuring art and collectibles, AXA Art has handled claims from a wide array of incidents. The company advises that statistically damage most likely occurs during transport. AXA Art is working to place tremendous emphasis on the benefits of using skilled experts with experience in wrapping, packing, crating and shipping works of art.. “Ultimately our goal is to inform and support collectors as they seek to safeguard the value and longevity of their collections”, said Christiane Fischer, President and CEO of AXA Art’s North American operations.

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