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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
'Up to' $100m art lost in attacks
Rodin's 'Eve', recently auctioned in New York
One company had 300 Rodin works in their offices
The works of art destroyed by the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center could be worth as much as $100m (68m), according to the art insurance specialists AXA Art.

This would represent the largest ever volume of art insurance claims after a single incident, the company said.

World Trade Center
It is not yet known how many art works were lost
It has put already put aside $20m (13.5m) for its own art-related claims.

But the total art losses could be worth much more - once claims from the surrounding buildings have been included.

AXA president Dr Dietrich von Frank told the US-based Art Newspaper: "The question is how much art might be in other buildings, or affected by the clean-up."

Global effect

One of AXA's principal clients in the buildings is known to have been brokerage house Cantor Fitzgerald, whose offices contained 300 Rodin sculptures, among other works.

Artworks in the public areas of the towers included a painted wood relief by Louise Nevelson, a painting from Roy Lichtenstein's Entablature series and a Joan Miro tapestry.

An AXA spokeswoman told BBC New Online: "There will be a global effect on the art insurance industry.

"This is the biggest single disaster ever to affect the industry.

"We'll probably see an acceleration of art insurance costs."

The attacks also had a wider effect on the New York art world.

The studios of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's World Views programme were in one of the towers.

New season

One of the World Views programme's artists, Michael Richards, died in the attacks and all the group's art works were lost.

The attacks came in the week when the new art season was due to start, and with it numerous gallery opening parties and Asian art auctions at Sotheby's and Christie's - both of which have been postponed.

Other shows and sales and have been postponed or cancelled, and art dealers and curators predict new difficulties in shipping and insuring valuable art works.

In Europe, where terrorist acts have been far more common than in the US, many insurance companies will not cover losses that result from acts of terrorism.

Acts of war

But in the US terrorist acts are usually covered - though acts of "land war" are not.

Some insurance companies are said to be looking at whether the attacks on the World Trade Center could be classified as acts of war - to limit their liability for losses.

Dr von Frank told the Art Newspaper that AXA would accept its losses for the artworks destroyed on 11 September.

"I don't think anybody in their right mind would exclude these kinds of terrorist activities. It is covered," he said.


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03 Oct 01 | Entertainment
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