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#INGOSSTRAKH: RUSSIAN ART MARKET STANDS AT $1.5-2 BILLION#

MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosti) - The deals with works of art in Russia make, according to individual estimates, some $1.5-2billion annually, Mikhail Vassiliev, the head of the trans-national Ingosstrakh insurance company, said when appearing Tuesday at Moscow's conference on new prospects for the capitalisation of the art market.

He believes that the greatest challenges today are the authenticity of artworks and their preservation for even the latest safeguarding systems often fail to resist the damage or loss of valuable works.

"No insurance can prevent the theft of a rare canvas or its damage in fire but it can make up for financial losses suffered due to unfavourable conditions," noted Vassiliev. He expressed confidence that the promising art insurance market has shaped up in Russia.

The conference on new prospects for the capitalisation of the art market was held Tuesday at Moscow's Central Artist House within the framework of the 17th Antiquarian Show. Its participants-experts from major Russian galleries, exhibition centres, antiques and restoration centres, banks and insurance companies-discussed new services, technologies and problems of the art market in Russia.

Most speakers referred to the level of the Russian art market's responsibility as positive. Mention was made of the appearance of a great number of galleries and professional associations, these processes attracting the attention of Russian and foreign investors.

"Foreign presence on the Russian antiquarian market will grow, which means greater competition to Russian players," said Yevgeny Zyablov, director-general of the exhibition centre "ROSIZO". He noted that national dealers would have to adopt new working standards and new technologies as regards examination and insurance of works of art.

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