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1. What is true about the art in Karen’s gallery?
1) Nothing in the basement was undamaged.
2) Most of the art on the main floor was undamaged.
3) Some basement collections were undamaged.
2. Some of the damaged paintings in Karen’s basement can be repaired …
1) by Karen herself.
2) by experts.
3) by the artists.
3. Which option does Karen prefer for recovering the cost of the art?
1) Repairing it and selling it at a discount.
2) Waiting for her insurance company to pay in full.
3) Asking the artists to claim on their insurance.
4. An artist that Karen knows …
1) luckily had her work insured.
2) will need two years to repair the damage.
3) couldn’t afford insurance.
5. What happened to some public works of art?
1) They were damaged in the storm.
2) They were completely lost in the storm.
3) They were placed under protective material.
6. The institute for art conservation …
1) was extremely busy round the time of the storm.
2) received flood damage as a result of the storm.
3) was physically removing structures from art centres.
7. What does Karen hope will result from the storm?
1) The art world will help communities rebuild.
2) Artists may draw inspiration from the storms effect.
3) People will value art more highly.
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Presenter: Hi and welcome to our programme, Art Talk. With us today is Manhattan gallery owner; Karen Karns, to talk about the damage that Hurricane Sandy inflicted on the art world in New York City. Thanks for joining us.
Speaker: I’m glad to be here.
Presenter: You lost a lot of art as a result of the storm, didn’t you?
Speaker: Yes, I did. My gallery is in Chelsea, Manhattan, and it has a basement area where I store collections. The basement flooded, so as you can imagine, those collections were mostly ruined. Thankfully I had the most valuable works on the main floor of the gallery. And luckily anything on the shelves downstairs was OK also.
Presenter: What was the cost of the damage to your gallery?
Speaker: I would say probably more than 100,000 US dollars. We’re still in the process of determining that. I’ve got to see what pieces are completely ruined, and which ones can be fixed by art specialists. Most paintings are a total loss. It wasn’t just rainwater, but there are mud stains on the canvases. And, the water caused the wooden frames to swell so canvases actually got torn.
Presenter: That’s terrible. What happens if the work of art can’t be fixed? Is it a total loss to the artist?
Speaker: It depends. My gallery is insured, so once we determine the value, then we can arrange for payments from the insurance company. This will take months, though. Another option is that if a work of art can be restored, it’s possible to sell it at a discount. I’d rather the insurance cover the full cost, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Presenter: Do most galleries have insurance?
Speaker: I don’t know for sure, but it’s likely that all major dealers do. But more than just art galleries were damaged in the storm. Artists studios were also flooded, and my guess is that many of these artists don’t have insurance on their work. It’s incredibly expensive and you know what it’s like to be a struggling artist. I know of a woman whose entire collection of sculptures – two years’ worth of work – was completely destroyed. Insurance wasn’t an option for her due to cost so she’ll have to start again from scratch.
Presenter: That must be gut-wrenching. What about public works of art? Were they protected?
Speaker: Yes. The museums in the city removed a lot of sculptures from their public gardens, and tied down others so they couldn’t blow away. The larger pieces that couldn’t be moved were wrapped in thick layers of material to protect them from falling debris.
Presenter: It sounds as though much was done in preparation for the storm.
Speaker: There is an institute for art conservation which has been around since the 1970s. They have a department that specialises in helping art centres prepare for disasters. They work to educate art centres on the best techniques for protecting their art from storms, fires, earthquakes, et cetera. They’ve even got a helpline, although I heard it was completely jammed with calls around the time of the hurricane.
Presenter: At least there’s an organisation in place to address this issue.
Speaker: Exactly. Of course, the storm affected so many peoples lives. Homes were lost and some people lost their lives. At least with art, it’s something that can be recreated. Perhaps some works will be created that reflect the impact the storm had on our community…