NEW YORK & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, a member of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (Nasdaq: AGII), announced today that it has launched an eighteen-month project aimed at establishing a framework for implementing technologies intended to address the issue of authenticity of works of fine art and other objects in the global art market. Working through U.S. and international standards organizations, the project will also draw on the expertise of leading academic and scientific experts.
“A significant number of firms are developing various technologies to address the issue of authenticity in the art industry. Given the broad range of media in which works are created and the environmental exposures of art and important collectibles on a global basis, no one technology can address the entire industry need,” said ARIS Chairman Lawrence M. Shindell. “Most critical to creating an effective authenticity solution is the establishment of standards against which the efficacy of both current and future authentication marking technologies can be measured. ARIS, as the world’s leading art title insurer, is in a unique position to assist the market in delivering these solutions because clear legal title is the keystone to all other activity around this asset class.”
“Advancements in technology – from botanical DNA-based marking technologies to nano-technologies – can now be used to mark or identify a new work of art or an existing work whose authenticity has already been established by conventional standards. This will eventually eliminate the question of authenticity from the art industry as well as the frictional costs that this issue creates,” explained Mr. Shindell. “However, the existence of independently established, authoritative standards that will govern the indelibility, permanency, non-alterability, implementation protocols and other complex issues are necessary to anchor the legal-scientific efficacy of each technology. Otherwise, an overall market solution will not be possible,” explained Mr. Shindell.
ARIS is already working with the world-leading Authentication in Art Foundation established at The Hague, which will convene a Congress in May 2014 to address conventional authentication standards for never-before marked or identified works.
“Once appropriate third-party efficacy standards for prospectively-applied marking or identification technologies are established, we will actively work with and support each technology that meets those standards. We expect to structure our keystone art title insurance to incorporate these identification solutions at no added cost to the market,” said Mr. Shindell.
ARIS Title Insurance Corporation is the world leader in securing legal ownership to fine art and other precious collectible, non-real estate property assets. ARIS serves the full range of stakeholders and participants in the global art and collectibles industry including the institutional commercial, not-for-profit, audit-accountancy, legal advisory, financial services, D&O/E&O insurance and private equity and alternative asset investment fund sectors. ARIS, a member of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., is a New York State domiciled title insurance company. ARIS is headquartered in New York, New York. More information about ARIS is available at www.aristitle.com and www.argolimited.com.
ABOUT ARGO GROUP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, LTD.
Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (Nasdaq: AGII) is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. Argo Group offers a full line of products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of four primary businesses segments: Excess & Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200. Argo Group's insurance subsidiaries are A. M. Best-rated 'A' (Excellent), and Argo's U.S. insurance subsidiaries are Standard and Poor's-rated 'A-' (Strong). More information on Argo Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.argolimited.com.
This press release contains certain statements that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are qualified by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally and also may materially differ from actual future experience involving any one or more of such statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see Argo Group's filings with the SEC. The inclusion of a forward-looking statement herein should not be regarded as a representation by Argo Group that Argo Group's objectives will be achieved. Argo Group undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.