Preview

Catherine Hickley

News
Controversies

German art activists apologise for upsetting Holocaust survivors with monument containing human remains

Centre for Political Beauty concedes “mistakes,” says it will veil monument

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Controversies

Art activists anger Holocaust survivors with Berlin monument containing ashes

Centre for Political Beauty says action targets conservatives open to allying with far right

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Conservation & Preservation

Cold War-era mosaic sees light of day again in eastern Germany

Reappearance of a Josep Renau mural hints at a greater acceptance of East German public art

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Restitution

Germany returns indigenous remains of 45 ancestors to Australia in 'long overdue step'

Saxon government acknowledges “years of disregard for their dignity and importance to their communities of origin”

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Jewish Museum Berlin

Hetty Berg is appointed new director of Jewish Museum Berlin

She will take over the German institution following the controversial departure of Peter Schäfer last June

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Restitution

German museum acquires Heinrich Campendonk painting after restitution to Jewish collector’s heir

Work once belonged to the shoe manufacturer Alfred Hess, whose family was forced to flee Nazi Germany

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Art crime

Thieves steal priceless Baroque jewels from Dresden museum

After breaking in through a window at the Green Vault, the intruders grabbed three royal jewellery ensembles containing diamonds and pearls

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Berlin

New Berlin foundation turns AI into immersive art

Light Art Space wants visitors to understand the world through a computer’s eyes

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Restitution

Dr Oetker returns painting to heirs of Jewish tobacco dealer murdered by the Nazis

Leo Bendel was killed at Buchenwald three years after he sold the painting by Carl Spitzweg to fund his escape from Nazi Germany

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Exhibitions

Permanent Documenta exhibition opens at Kassel’s Neue Galerie

The show includes insights into preparations by the Indonesian art cooperative Ruangrupa for the 2022 edition

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China

German art worth €300m disappears in China, media reports

Collector Maria Chen-Tu says she had loaned works by Markus Lüpertz and Anselm Kiefer to a businessman to be shown in museums

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Museums

German parliament approves institute for photographic legacy based in Dusseldorf

Government says institute is necessary to address “considerable backlog in securing the visual memory of our society”

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Restitution

France returns a historic sword to Senegal

The gesture is intended as a symbol of France’s commitment to repatriating African heritage

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Restitution

George Soros's Open Society Foundations pledges $15m to help Africa recover looted heritage

Paid over four years, it will support efforts made by museums, grassroots-organisations and governments

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Museums

German parliament approves extra costs for Berlin Museum of the 20th Century

The €364m budget is “a real pain threshold,” culture minister says

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Collectors

Collector Egidio Marzona buys eastern German castle to host design academy

The property was once home to Paul Schultze-Naumburg, a leading proponent of Nazi cultural policy

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Restitution

Bern museum sells $4m Manet painting from Gurlitt art hoard

National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo agrees to buy the painting, Ships at Sea in Stormy Weather

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Provenance research

'An invaluable resource' for provenance research: German pre-1945 auction catalogues are published online

The database includes 9,000 catalogues from more than 390 auction houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

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Restitution

FBI recovers painting suspected as Nazi loot from US museum

Gari Melchers's painting of a winter landscape, which was in the Arkell Museum in the state of New York, belonged to the media mogul Rudolf Mosse

Preview
Exhibitions

Munich exhibition uses X-rays to lay bare Anthony van Dyck's creative methods

Research project conducted by Alte Pinakothek reveals how the Flemish painter developed and reworked his canvases

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Art market

'Close to Raphael' Madonna sells for €1.27m at Vienna’s Dorotheum

A leading Italian art historian attributed it to Raphael and associates before the sale

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Appointments

Tate’s Andrea Lissoni to lead Munich’s troubled Haus der Kunst

Challenges include financial problems and a major planned renovation

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Exhibitions

British Museum to borrow the Nebra Sky Disc, the oldest portrayal of the cosmos

The artefact will be the focus of a joint exhibition with the Halle Museum of Prehistory

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Art crime

'Prominent' Berlin art dealer arrested on suspicion of fraud

Police has raided seven premises in connection with the investigation

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Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson will create 'pan-European' work of art for Germany's EU presidency next year

The project, which is to be designed with participation from children and young people, will be supported by the Goethe Institute

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Colonial art

German states establish help desk to handle artefacts acquired in colonial era

An open letter from scholars and curators, including Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr, demands greater transparency on collections

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Museums

Italy extends Eike Schmidt’s leadership of Uffizi for four years

Sylvain Bellenger is reappointed in Capodimonte, Cristiana Collu remains at Rome Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna

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Art market

Is this a Raphael? Madonna and Child painting to be auctioned at Dorotheum in Vienna

The work, previously unknown to scholars, was until now in a private ducal collection

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Appointments & departures

Uffizi's Eike Schmidt reveals why he cancelled move to Kunsthistorisches Museum at the eleventh hour

Uffizi director says he is able to pursue reforms at Florence museum under Italy's new centre-left government

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Appointments

Uffizi’s Eike Schmidt cancels move to Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Move comes just one month before the German art historian was due to take the reins of the prestigious museum

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Restoration

King of bling’s magnificent home—destroyed by Allied bombing—is recreated in Dresden

Splendid royal state apartments of Augustus the Strong are opening to visitors again after a lavish reconstruction

Preview
Exhibitions

Woven conflicts: Hannah Ryggen's fascist-fighting tapestries go on show in Frankfurt

Textile-works showing Nazi prison camps and Mussolini with a spear through his head will feature in first German survey of Swedish artist

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Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for climate

The Danish-Icelandic artist has long been addressing environmental issues in his work

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Restitution

Namibian artefacts travel home in Berlin museum research project

But return of the objects permanently to Namibia is not the immediate goal, says Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

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Austrian politics

Austrian election campaign turns forest art stadium into political battleground

Unveiled earlier this month, Klaus Littmann's tree installation is Austria's biggest ever public work of art

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Museums

Costs soar for Berlin’s planned Museum of the 20th Century

New estimate puts potential cost at €450m versus previous estimate of €200m

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Restoration

Restorers discover shield fragment is 1,700 years old, making it the oldest German panel painting

Researchers at the Landesmuseum in Halle found fragments of paint on the ancient wooden object

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Protest

Ai Weiwei was not 'thrown out' of Munich’s Haus der Kunst, artist confirms

Activist was demonstrating in support of workers' rights in the face of cost-cutting at the museum

Review
Three to see

Three exhibitions to see during Berlin Art Week

From an artist occupation in an abandoned building to Ai Weiwei's return to his roots

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Photography

Germany plans photography archive to preserve 'visual memory of our society'

Culture minister Monika Grütters enlists international experts to help create a central institution but critics question necessity and feasibility

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Bauhaus

'Black box' dedicated to Bauhaus opens in Dessau

Museum celebrates the German design school in the city most closely associated with founder Walter Gropius

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Controversies

Nazi design exhibition at Dutch museum braces for protests

The show called Design of the Third Reich features the Volkswagen Beetle and Riefenstahl’s films

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Museums & Heritage

Kaiser's heir angers German public over huge restitution claims

Demands by the emperor's great-great grandson for the return of thousands of works from two German states threatens the future of at least two museums

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Germany

Berlin celebrates fall of the wall with art installations, projections and an app

A week-long festival for the 30th anniversary includes a banner of messages floating near the Brandenburg Gate

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Museum directors

Udo Kittelmann will leave Berlin Nationalgalerie next year

The museum director, who manages five Berlin museums in his current role, will not renew his contract which expires in October 2020

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Heritage

Artists demand rethink in rebuilding of Potsdam church where Hitler cemented power

Open letter describes the Garrison Church, damaged in the Second World War, as the symbol of an “unholy alliance” between church, military, and state

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Restitution

German Nazi loot panel divided on Max Stern painting—but returns it to his heirs anyway

For first time, advisory team stipulates that work must not be sold for ten years in case evidence emerges that contradicts its ruling

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Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter to donate works for a room devoted to his art in new Berlin museum

Announcement comes after the German artist turned down proposals for his own museum in Cologne

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Law

Family claims quarter share of disputed Isleworth Mona Lisa

The painting, long the subject of an attribution dispute, is now at the centre of a legal conflict over ownership

Preview
Exhibitions

Revisiting the 1989 revolution that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall

Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig looks at how East German artists responded to tumultuous times

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Restitution

Austria promises to return ancient artefacts to Russia that were taken as war trophies

An Austrian army officer took the 2,000-year-old objects from a war-damaged museum in the port of Temryuk at the end of the Second World War

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Obituaries

Frieder Burda—leading German collector of Modern masters including Picasso and Pollock—dies aged 83

Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden is home to the philanthropist's collection of around 1,000 works

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Politics

Leipzig exhibition ousts artist with alt-right sympathies

Axel Krause’s support for anti-immigration party AfD was a step too far for the organisers, but others say his exclusion suppresses freedom

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Nazi loot

Berlin museums appeal to US Supreme Court in dispute over €200m Guelph Treasure

The case 'shouldn't be heard in a US court', argues the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

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Jewish Museum Berlin director steps down after a tweet misfires

Germany’s Council of Jews said Peter Schäfer “lost the trust of the Jewish community”

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Humboldt Forum

Humboldt Forum opening delayed until 2020

The opening festivities were to begin this year, but the final stage of construction is behind schedule

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Nazi loot

Mass theft of art from East German citizens revealed in new report

Study reveals that up to 8% of museum acquisitions were looted from private citizens

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Heritage

Planned cable car attraction over Belgrade historic fortress ‘should be suspended’

Kalemegdan served as a military site for the Roman Empire and is a candidate for Unesco World Heritage status

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Exhibitions

Exhibition resurrects East Germany's demolished Palast der Republik

Kunsthalle Rostock, the only museum built under the GDR, remembers Berlin's asbestos-riddled parliament building and culture hub

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Heritage

Anti-Semitic 'Jewish Sow' relief may be removed from Luther’s church

Medieval sculpture on façade of Unesco World Heritage site in Wittenberg is one of around 30 similar pieces across Europe

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Restitution

Netherlands to restitute two paintings sold by Jewish businessman in Nazi era

Restitutions Committee recommends return of two Golden Age works to heirs of Jacob Lierens

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Architecture

Nazi site in Nuremberg to be preserved but not restored

German city launches €85m plan to prevent further decay of infamous rally grounds

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Czech culture minister resigns amid outrage over dismissals of museum chiefs

Antonin Stanek’s sudden firing of National Gallery director Jiri Fajt sparked international protests and a petition

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Discoveries

Hidden Cupid resurfaces in one of Vermeer’s best-known works after two and a half centuries

Laboratory tests revealed "sensational" discovery that the figure in Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window was overpainted decades after the artist’s death

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Video, film & new media

Berlin collector turns Nazi-era Luftwaffe building into home for video art

Software entrepreneur Markus Hannebauer opens Fluentum to the public with Dutch artist Guido van der Werve

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Berlinische Galerie forced to close suddenly because of structural problems

“Safety comes first,” the building’s manager says

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Politics

US museum criticises use of Gérôme’s Slave Market in German right-wing campaign

Anti-immigration party AfD is using provocative 19th-century work on its posters for the upcoming European elections

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Art market

Bonn library recovers 600 books missing since the Second World War

Sotheby's assisted the return of the books, including 11 medieval manuscripts, which were found in Belgium

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European Union

EU adopts new rules on cultural heritage imports

Regulation is designed to protect against smuggling and cut off a source of terrorist financing

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Restitution

Indigenous human remains returned to Australia by five German institutions

Australia is pursuing further repatriations from Germany, ambassador says

Preview
Germany

New Berlin exhibition exposes Emil Nolde’s Nazi ties

Show at the Hamburger Bahnhof explores how the German artist hid behind Hitler's "degenerate" label

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Museums & Heritage

Weimar—birthplace of Bauhaus—opens new museum dedicated to the influential design school

On the same day, the nearby Neues Museum Weimar will open a new permanent exhibition on early Modernism