Culture and art

The way we perceive art is a measure of advancement and development of a society. The degree of appreciation of art is a measure of its potential to the increase of its value. In Poland, we have plenty of artists, both world-famous as well as those whose artistic careers have just begun. The artists who live, work and study here. Moreover, our country has a rich artistic heritage and many works of art to offer.

Investing in art is one of the oldest ways of raising capital. In the most developed countries, auctions serve not only as places where you can acquire works of art but also as areas of investment, networking and cultural meetings, accompanied by other forms of social activity. Art shows and exhibitions, the grand finale of which are auctions, have excellent settings of high artistic value, such as concerts given by distinguished composers. Investors wishing to combine profit with passion are searching for highly valuable works of art which will gain in value in the future and become great investments. Interestingly, investors compete against one another with respect to the highest price for a sold work of art. With a specific collection of works by an artist, the owner sells a single work at a high price in order to increase the value of the collection as a whole. Surprisingly, such tactics can significantly increase the value of other copies by that artist. Such a strategy also works the other way round. Market forecasts show a robust growth in investment in this area in the next few years, such growth being directly affected by an increasing wealth of the society. More than three-quarters of collectors and investors acquire works of art to gain profit as they consider such works of art mostly to be long-term investments with a very high rate of return. Importantly, the global financial crisis did not affect the art market, the one the investors hoped would help them to wait out a decline in the market. New technologies have been broadly applied in that area. Today, auction houses speak openly about a transition to E-Auctions which will facilitate investing and may significantly change and accelerate trade, profit and trading in works of art.

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, by supporting and cooperating with cultural institutions, significantly affects the development of the prestige of Polish culture, and thus, contributes to building a positive image of Poland on the international arena. This form of country’s promotion has positively reflected on other sectors, such as politics, economy and the development of international business. The greater the number of international cultural events will be held in Poland, the greater the number of investors will be interested in investing their capital into the art and culture, consequently, the wider Poland will be recognizable in the world.

Therefore, the promotion of art and culture is important on the international arena and is becoming one of the priorities of the Polish Government in the coming years. Polish experts predict that by 2020 there will be carried out a number of projects and supportive programs for the development of investment in the arts. Allocation of investors’ capital in the promotion of art and culture may not bring immediate profits, but in the perspective of the next years will have a resounding success, both reputational and business. Nowadays, the experts are assured that the Polish art market, compared to world markets, is rather characterized by a growing tendency. At the same time, no other art market in the world is growing as quickly as the Polish one. This gives a person many opportunities to commune with great masterpieces, and multiply its value. Polish art market was valued in 2014 at approx. PLN 300-350 mln, but as noted by „judges of art”, the true interest in the market is undervalued, by even seven times. In 2020, the investments in art can reach a threefold increase compared to the current value. In 2013, in Warsaw Desa Unicum auction house, were sold the masterpieces with overall value of PLN 23.1 million. A year later it already constituted PLN 45 million.

In 2015, the auction house scored sale volume of PLN 65 mil¬lion, with 56% market share. Certainly, in subsequent years this trend will be preserved. As regards the market auction houses, in 2015 sales of old art in the biggest Polish auction houses reached PLN 53.5 million. Second best – is the contemporary art, which sale in 2015 reached PLN 45.5 million. However, one should also pay attention to sculpture and video art, which currently, seem to be a favorite form of investment. Interestingly, the most important transaction of the Polish art was the sale of the most expensive picture at auction in Poland that took place on December 11, 2014. That day, the painting of Roman Opalka was sold for PLN 1.750 million. In 2015, during the June auction, for PLN 1.65 million was sold „History Lesson” by Jacek Malczewski. In December of the same year, for the PLN 1.2 million was sold the picture of Joseph Chełmoński, named „Around”. According to the portal „Market and Art”, the trade value on Polish auction art market constituted PLN 60.6 million in 2014, and the year 2013 resulted in PLN 62.5 million.

Only in 2014 Totalizator Sportowy, following the regulations of the gambling’s law, conveyed to the appropriated funds connected with culture, more than PLN 150 million. There is also some kind of rivalry among bigger Polish cities because of new widely opened museums, theatres and art galleries. These buildings definitely have no value without a defined destination and certainly will have to be filled with valuable assets.

History is also an important part of the Polish culture. The Poles are full of respect and take care of nearly 830 working museums in Poland, which are visited by about 30 million tourists every year. The leader in this field in attracting the highest number of visitors is still Mazovia, followed by Małopolska Region. Relatively lower results gained such regions as Lower Silesia and Pomerania.

Technological development in turn, foster the development of the museums; in many Polish museums the tourists can enjoy interactive exhibitions, presentations and reconstructions of the most important historic events, such as the Battle of Grunwald or many other from the II World War. Thanks to the support of the Departments of Culture and National Heritage and significant amount of financial means forwarded from 2004, the image of Polish museums has been prominently changing: from the boring and obsolete institutions they turned into the range of interactive and modern ones. According to the, which is one of the most important touristic portals, on the list of the 10 best Polish museums are placed:

10. Historical Museum of the City of Cracow;

9. Auschwitz Jewish Center in Oswiecim;

8. Galicja Jewish Museum in Cracow;

7. Museum of the Cracovian Salt Mine Wieliczka;

6. The Malbork Castle Museum;

5. National Museum of Majdanek in Lublin;

4. Rynek Underground in Cracow;

3. Polish Aviation Museum in Cracow;

2. The Warsaw Rising Museum in Warsaw;

1. Auschwitz – Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Oswiecim.

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