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Edinburgh House Fire Destroys Art Treasure

Many readers of the Scotsman woke on the 2nd of January 2006 to read the sad and heartbreaking story of the tragic fire at Magnus Linklater’s Edinburgh home, and the loss of a major part of his fine picture collection.

The Press Association reports:

"Tens of thousands of pounds worth of art and antiquarian books have been destroyed in a New Year House fire. Paintings by artists including Samuel Peploe and William MacTaggart were lost as the blaze destroyed a drawing room in the Edinburgh home of journalist and former Scottish Arts Council chairman Magnus Linklater."

It is obvious from the articles that he had followed a deliberate course of ignoring the value of his pictures. Something that few people would do with a stockmarket portfolio.

From the Scotsman:

"Although the pictures were insured, they have not been revalued for ten years. Two paintings by the Scottish Colourist Samuel Peploe and two by William MacTaggart were among the collection.

Mr Linklater said the paintings were insured for between £50,000 and £100,000 in total. However, a sale at Christie’s in October saw three Peploe paintings fetch between £120,000 and £433,000."

This "ostrich" approach by the Linklaters has cost them a substantial six figure amount.

He is sadly not alone but is only when a tragedy such as this happens that people suddenly are made aware of the major financial loss that this can incur. He could easily have taken professional advice at small cost and asked his advisers on how best to approach these matters.

There are a variety of ways that one can protect the asset values of ones art and antique collections without incurring undue costs. For further advice Mark Medcalf should be consulted on 0131 220 8271 for impartial advice to the right approach to insurance so that an efficient compromise can be achieved without excessive costs being involved.

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