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Protecting Fine Art pieces during the Pandemic

by ecommerce | Nov 11, 2020


Fine art pieces, like paintings and sculptures, are susceptible to more risk during the pandemic and natural catastrophes. Whether in galleries or at home, these priceless art pieces must be properly handled and enveloped with ample protection.


Philippine Art Events Inc. co-founder Geraldine Araneta, shared that art fairs were hard hit during the quarantine period seeing a drastic drop in revenues, loss of jobs, closures, and postponements, but added that the shift to digital or virtual viewing format may be expected for art museums or galleries in the long-run. Ms. Araneta shared the state of art fairs during the “Art in the Time of Pandemic” webinar, hosted by Malayan Insurance Co., Inc.


Boots Herrera, director and chief curator of the Ateneo Art gallery, pointed out that artwork collectors and gallery owners are advised to incorporate preventive risk management to ensure their good condition in the long term.


Since art galleries were forced to temporarily close during the quarantine period brought about by the Covid19 pandemic, gallery administrators had to incorporate protection measures in storage facilities. Among these steps is providing ample air movement inside storage spaces as humidity damages most art pieces.


“Air-conditioning is not a requirement in keeping the right temperature. An oscillating fan would suffice to keep the room temperature in check,” said Ms. Herrera, during the Malayan Insurance sponsored webinar on Fine Arts Insurance, held recently. “This holds true for those with art pieces at home. Owners or custodians must ensure that their artworks are not exposed to the elements such as direct sunlight and open air.”


Herrera pointed out that air conditioning mainly ensures consistent temperature and relative humidity. The best strategy during rainy periods is to ensure good air ventilation for proper control of room moisture content. Art collectors should also check for signs of pests like termites or wood boarers in frames, minute matters that are often overlooked yet harmful to artworks.

Furthermore, the presence of plants inside a house or gallery space affect the humidity levels of a room, leading to mold growth especially for paintings that don’t have glass casings or covers.


The Ateneo Art Gallery administrator also mentioned that the insurance coverage of the art pieces she handles are always renewed as it helps lower the risks for these priceless items.


Fine arts underwriter Lee Vanderson of Howden Specialty Ltd. also noted the importance of having insurance for artworks as this provides security for the art pieces or even the art galleries storing these works.


Malayan Insurance offers a fine arts insurance coverage which protects the artworks that most people cherish and value.

To know more about this product, customers may visit the Malayan Insurance e-commerce site at

Malayan Insurance is the leading non-life insurer in the Philippines and a part of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC). The company celebrates its 90th year in the local insurance industry this 2020.