ArtCity is proud to host some special events during the whole fair duration.

We thank our partners who made these events possible.

Panel Discussions

Organised by Deloitte

Deloitte brings together international experts and local players who will discuss practical issues and share their visions of the future.

Since the first conference in 2008, each edition of the Deloitte Art & Finance International conference has taken place in a different major cultural city.

It has already been held in Luxembourg (2008, 2014 and 2018), London (2009), Paris (2010), Miami (2011), Basel (2012), Maastricht (2013), New York (2015), Amsterdam (2016), Milan (2017) and in Monaco (2019).

Due to COVID-19 restrictions Deloitte will organise all panel discussions on the ArtCity platform.

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The daily panel discussions are accessible from 23-28 October 2020 to all visitors of ArtCity.
You can access the panel discussion by entering ArtCity and go to ‘panel discussions’ via the ‘Art Resources’ menu on the top of the page Enter ArtCity

See below the full programme

23 OCTOBER 15:30-17:00 CET

Culture & Smart Cities. As a result of the current sanitary crisis and the digitization of culture, does it make sense to include Culture in the concept of Smart Cities?

Moderator: Thomas Marks, Editor, Apollo Magazine

24 OCTOBER 15:30-17:00 CET

Culture & Sustainable Impact Investment. With the Covid-19 crisis, financing culture has become even more problematic hence should we consider new creative financing approaches?

Moderator: Monica Palumbo, Partner, Deloitte Italy

25 OCTOBER 11:00-12:30 CET (18:00-19:30 HKT)

Hong Kong Art Market. A look into the future

Moderator: Georgina Adam, Independent Journalist, Art Market Expert and Author

26 OCTOBER 15:30-17:00 CET

Digital Transformation in the Art Market: What does this actually mean?

Moderator: Anders Petterson, Founder, ArtTactic

27 OCTOBER 13:00-14:30 CET (15:00-16:30 MSK)

Как мы можем развить российский рынок искусства (How we can expand the Russian Art Market)

Organized by Deloitte Russia, language: Russian

27 OCTOBER 15:30-17:00 CET

Trust-Transparency-Responsibility Trends in the Art Market: Benefits and Challenges for Collectors and Dealers

Moderator: Peter Brigham, Managing Director, Rosemont Monaco SAM

28 OCTOBER 15:30-17:00 CET

Art & Collectibles: Which Wealth Management Service Offerings meet UHWNI’s needs?

Moderator: Adriano Picinati di Torcello, Director, Global Art & Finance Coordinator, Deloitte Luxembourg

Discover artists, artworks and dealers by attending the Art Talks. Those videos of 2-5 minutes available during the whole fair duration will offer visitors insight into diverse and fascinating subjects, ranging from artists and objects to new publications.

Amber Room

Catherine Palace of St. Petersburg

Visitors of ArtCity will get the chance to discover the prestigious Amber Room.

Construction of the Amber Room began in 1701. It was originally installed at Charlottenburg Palace, home of Friedrich I, the first King of Prussia. Truly an international collaboration, the room was designed by German baroque sculptor Andreas Schlüter and constructed by the Danish amber craftsman Gottfried Wolfram. Peter the Great admired the room on a visit, and in 1716 the King of Prussia—then Frederick William I—presented it to the Peter as a gift, cementing a Prussian-Russian alliance against Sweden.

The Amber Room was shipped to Russia in 18 large boxes and installed in the Winter House in St. Petersburg as a part of a European art collection. In 1755, Czarina Elizabeth ordered the room to be moved to the Catherine Palace in Pushkin, named Tsarskoye Selo, or "Czar's Village." Italian designer Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli redesigned the room to fit into its new, larger space using additional amber shipped from Berlin.

After other 18th-century renovations, the room covered about 180 square feet and glowed with six tons of amber and other semi-precious stones. The amber panels were backed with gold leaf, and historians estimate that, at the time, the room was worth $142 million in today's dollars. Over time, the Amber Room was used as a private meditation chamber for Czarina Elizabeth, a gathering room for Catherine the Great and a trophy space for amber connoisseur Alexander II.

On June 22, 1941, Adolf Hitler initiated Operation Barbarossa, which launched three million German soldiers into the Soviet Union. The invasion led to the looting of tens of thousands of art treasures, including the illustrious Amber Room, which the Nazis believed was made by Germans and, most certainly, made for Germans.

As the forces moved into Pushkin, officials and curators of the Catherine Palace attempted to disassemble and hide the Amber Room. When the dry amber began to crumble, the officials instead tried hiding the room behind thin wallpaper. But the ruse didn't fool the German soldiers, who tore down the Amber Room within 36 hours, packed it up in 27 crates and shipped it to Königsberg, Germany (present-day Kaliningrad). The room was reinstalled in Königsberg's castle museum on the Baltic Coast.

The museum's director, Alfred Rohde, was an amber aficionado and studied the room's panel history while it was on display for the next two years. In late 1943, with the end of the war in sight, Rohde was advised to dismantle the Amber Room and crate it away. In August of the following year, allied bombing raids destroyed the city and turned the castle museum into ruins. And with that, the trail of the Amber Room was lost.

It seems hard to believe that crates of several tons of amber could go missing, and many historians have tried to solve the mystery. The most basic theory is that the crates were destroyed by the bombings of 1944. Others believe that the amber is still in Kaliningrad, while some say it was loaded onto a ship and can be found somewhere at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. In 1997, a group of German art detectives got a tip that someone was trying to hawk a piece of the Amber Room. They raided the office of the seller's lawyer and found one of the room's mosaic panels in Bremen, but the seller was the son of a deceased soldier and had no idea as to the panel's origin. One of the more extreme theories is that Stalin actually had a second Amber Room and the Germans stole a fake.

Another bizarre aspect of this story is the "Amber Room Curse." Many people connected to the room have met untimely ends. Take Rohde and his wife, for example, who died of typhus while the KGB was investigating the room. Or General Gusev, a Russian intelligence officer who died in a car crash after he talked to a journalist about the Amber Room. Or, most disturbing of all, Amber Room hunter and former German soldier Georg Stein, who in 1987 was murdered in a Bavarian forest.

The history of the new Amber Room, at least, is known for sure. The reconstruction began in 1979 at Tsarskoye Selo and was completed 25 years—and $11 million—later. Dedicated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, the new room marked the 300-year anniversary of St. Petersburg in a unifying ceremony that echoed the peaceful sentiment behind the original. The room remains on display to the public at the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Reserve outside of St. Petersburg.

AXA Art Prize

AXA XL is delighted that works from 40 student artists competing for the AXA Art Prize 2020 will be displayed in VR during the fair.

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The AXA Art Prize is a juried exhibition and competition open to undergraduate and graduate students majoring in studio art at U.S. colleges and universities; entries are limited to figurative paintings, drawings and original prints. The competition is built on the legacy of a related prize which successfully ran in the UK for a decade. Now in its third year in the United States, the AXA Art Prize has established an excellent reputation as an insightful overview of the best new talent nationwide.

This year, more than 400 submissions were received from students attending 125 different institutions. Forty finalists were selected by an Exhibition Jury including curators from the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Noguchi Museum. The first and second place winners, who will receive $10,000 and $5,000, respectively, will be chosen by a Prize Jury made up of four prominent artists—Julia Chang, Erik Parker, Laurie Simmons and Salmon Toor—along with Jennifer Schipf, AXA XL’s Global Practice Leader for Art. The winners will be announced on November 17th.

According to Schipf, “The AXA Art Prize provides aspiring artists with an opportunity to showcase their talents, share their passions and connect with influential members and established leaders in the art industry. Now more than ever, it is imperative we help these individuals build diverse networks and support these young artists as they pursue their passions in the art industry.”


Many, if not all, of the finalists in this year’s competition have been affected by both COVID-19 and the various issues facing the world today. Although not all their works respond to these crises directly, many take on new meaning and significance in light of current events, from COVID-19 to global protests for racial justice. Angel Duran’s The Social Interactions of an Insomniac, depicting a lone man on an empty New York City street, resonates in new ways in light of locked-down New York, hit hard by COVID-19. Jessie Lefebvre’s Equality perfectly encapsulates the spirit and drive for change of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement sweeping the world. Sarah Maranze Levy’s Korey, a portrait of Korey King Wise, one of the exonerated Central Park Five, is a poignant reminder of the ongoing struggle for justice and equality that underpins the BLM movement. Corey Lovett explores similar themes in Near Drowning, which describes “the constant internal and external battles Black people endure due to racism and false ideologies in America,” as does Alexandria Couch in Target Practice: It Seems You

Must Open Your Arms Wider, “a reflection of the more subtle ways in which one can become a target of racial judgment or unwanted attention.”

For more information about the Prize and to view the shortlist, visit


The AXA Art Prize is brought to you by AXA XL, a division of AXA Group. AXA XL provides insurance and reinsurance solutions to clients in more than 200 countries. We insure some of the world’s most acclaimed galleries, art collections and dealers. AXA XL is an established patron of the arts and continues to champion initiatives designed to support and celebrate emerging talent in the United Kingdom and the United States. To learn more, visit