Preview

Catherine Hickley

News
Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Meet the man overhauling Berlin's 'dysfunctional' museums in wake of bombshell report

Head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, responds to an expert panel’s call to dismantle Germany’s biggest arts body

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Obituaries

Erich Marx, Berlin collector and patron, dies age 99

His collection of works by Warhol, Twombly, Beuys and Kiefer is on long-term loan to the Berlin museums

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Contemporary art

Berlin Art Week: shows in disused airports and nightclubs defy gloomy predictions

From Berghain's lockdown exhibition to the Brücke Museum's Vivian Suter display, here's what to see in the reigning contemporary art hub this week

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Restitution

Berlin returns tattooed Maori heads to New Zealand

Human remains in museums have attracted widespread criticism

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Books

German library buys 400-year-old album of drawings by European royalty for €2.8m

Art dealer Philipp Hainhofer's 16th-century "friendship book" contains inscriptions from Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and Cosimo de’ Medici

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coronavirus

CoroNation: Ai Weiwei releases lockdown documentary about Wuhan

Film aims to show “surveillance, ideological brainwashing, and brute determination used to control every aspect of society” by China’s leaders

Preview
Exhibitions

Condoms, clean needles and comedy take to the walls in HIV-Aids poster show

As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, public campaigns around another virus are explored in an exhibition at the Folkwang Museum in Essen

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Exhibitions

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer turns curator for Dusseldorf museum

Exhibition will recall the “intense and wonderful” 1990s fashion scene with photographs by Juergen Teller, Corinne Day and Karl Lagerfeld

Analysis
Looting

How recent anti-racism protests have pushed a longstanding debate about colonial looting in Europe

As the Black Lives Matter movement goes global, museums face renewed demands to restitute artefacts plundered from Africa

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Exhibitions

Berghain—Berlin’s exclusive nightclub—to transform into huge art venue during pandemic

“Studio Berlin” offers a way to circumvent the toughest door policy in the world and see works by Olafur Eliasson, Wolfgang Tillmans and Anne Imhof

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Acquisitions

Germany boosts art acquisition budget to €3m from €500,000 to support artists and galleries

Government plans to buy 150 works to help overcome the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic

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Restitution

Turin museum pays settlement to Jewish heirs for Renaissance Madonna that was looted by Nazis

Family of Gustav Arens also receive French government compensation for a Tintoretto painting and a Dutch landscape

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Curators

German curator kidnapped in Iraq is free again

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas voices “relief” at release of Hella Mewis, an arts manager living in Baghdad who works to promote young Iraqi artists

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Curators

German curator kidnapped in central Baghdad

Hella Mewis, who works to promote young Iraqi artists, was abducted yesterday by unidentified men in the centre of the city

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Art market

Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum seeks to recover ancient Egyptian jars before auction

The vessels, containing 2,600-year-old mummified internal organs, are due to be sold in Munich tomorrow

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Restitution

France takes first legal step towards restitutions to Benin and Senegal as cabinet examines new law

Twenty-six objects looted from Abomey Palace to return to Benin, Omar Tall’s sword to be transferred to Senegal

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Museums

More money, less hierarchy: Germany’s biggest arts employer faces major overhaul

Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, says he hopes the organisation will no longer exist in five years

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Museums & Heritage

Germany's Holocaust memorial sites fight against surge in far-right threats

Former concentration camps are being increasingly drawn into culture wars by “normal-looking” people challenging guides and disrupting tours

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Museums

Panel recommends dissolution of 'dysfunctional' Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

With 2,000 employees, the foundation is the biggest arts employer in Germany

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Art market

Sotheby's to auction £4m restituted Bellotto painting that Jewish retail magnate was forced to sell to Hitler

The view of Dresden's Zwinger moat had been returned to the heirs of Max Emden and will now be offered for sale in London on 28 July

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Exhibitions

Massive Monet cathedral painting to be installed in Rouen

The 360-degree work by the Iranian architect Yadegar Asisi will be displayed in a rotunda on the banks of the Seine

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Museums

German government seeks to buy Hamburger Bahnhof museum from investor

Move means the venue can continue to operate as Berlin’s main contemporary art museum

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Monuments

Riga installs six-metre statue to honour medical workers

Sculpture by Latvian artist Aigars Bikse is in a prominent spot in front of the National Museum of Art

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Museums

Berlin’s Humboldt Forum to open this year despite pandemic delay

Exhibition of Berlin city history is to be among the first to open

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Exhibitions

'Ultimate masterpiece': Van Eyck drawing— rarely seen due to fragility—goes on display for first time in a decade

Exhibited from today at Dresden’s Kupferstich-Kabinett, the picture of an old man is the only undisputed drawing by the Dutch Old Master that survives

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Museums

'Time to give back the swag, guys!' British Museum unleashes Twitter storm with statement on Black Lives Matter

London institution was criticised for proclaiming that it "stands in solidarity with the Black community" while continuing to resist calls to restitute colonial-era loot

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Repatriation

Digital Benin: a milestone on the long, slow journey to restitution

When British troops plundered the Royal Palace of Benin in the 19th century, at least 3,000 objects were dispersed internationally. A new online database is bringing them together

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Art market

Berlin dealer Johann König stages impromptu 'fair' to coincide with original Art Basel dates in June

"People are hungry for art in the original and the online viewing room can’t replace the personal experience,” the dealer says

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coronavirus

German government earmarks €1bn for arts in €130bn pandemic stimulus package

Package aims to counter “severest economic crisis in the history of the federal republic”

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Antiquities & Archaeology

How Germany’s 4,000-year-old answer to Stonehenge shows that Brexit is 'nonsense'

Pömmelte, sacred site that was used by the ancient Unetice culture, is opening up to tourists

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Art market

Code-cracking lot: Second World War Enigma machine on offer at Vienna’s Dorotheum

The Germans believed Enigma was uncrackable; cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke the code, contributing to the Allies’ victory

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Public art

Sculpture confronting Germany's colonial past installed at Berlin’s long-awaited Humboldt Forum

Kang Sunkoo’s bronze Statue of Limitations shows a black flag at half-mast

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coronavirus

Austrian culture minister steps down after coming under fire over pandemic response

Ulrike Lunacek was in office for less than four months

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Berlin

As one private collector shuts down Berlin space, Julia Stoschek threatens to follow

Closure of Thomas Olbricht’s Me Collectors Room comes after collector Friedrich Christian Flick’s announcement he is ending his museum loan

Podcast

Exclusive: Marina Abramovic on performance art post-pandemic

Plus, what is it like to visit a museum post-lockdown? Produced in association with Christie's

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Auctions

First live auction in Germany after lockdown features painting bought for Hitler

Neumeister in Munich will today host a live auction for a maximum audience of 20

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coronavirus

We went to one of the first German museums to reopen after the lockdown—here's what it was like

Poles and ribbons are used at the Brandenburg State Museum for Modern Art in Cottbus to practice social distancing

Analysis
Art market

When the emergency aid runs dry, what next for art galleries?

With short-term assistance varying between countries, trade organisations fear many businesses will close permanently due to coronavirus lockdowns

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Private collections

Berlin museums announce ‘painful’ end to loan of 'one of the world’s most outstanding contemporary art collections'

Prestigious private Flick collection, including works by Giacometti, Duchamp and Bruce Nauman, has been on loan to Berlin for 17 years

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coronavirus

German museums prepare to reopen, gradually and with precautions

The first museums open today in the state of Brandenburg in a gradual easing of the coronavirus lockdown; bigger museums may take longer to reopen

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coronavirus

In cautious loosening of lockdown, Germany allows art galleries to re-open

Small shops to open from next week but large gatherings still banned until at least 31 August

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Art collection

Looted Benin treasures to go online in international project led by Hamburg museum

Project is backed by the Ernst von Siemens art foundation, which seeks “a more factual focus to the discussions about restitution”

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Cathedral of Notre Dame

Germany offers help in restoring Notre Dame's stained-glass windows

German cathedral glass workshops have the expertise and experience necessary to undertake the restoration

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coronavirus

Austrian galleries plan cautious re-openings as government eases lockdown

“The doors will be wide open to let the sun in again,” says one Viennese dealer

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Museums

Fire breaks out at Berlin’s Humboldt Forum

Fire service says one person was injured in the blaze caused by a gas cylinder exploding

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coronavirus

'Like a permanent bank holiday': museums at greater risk of break-ins during lockdown

Reduced security staff and distracted police forces could lead to a rise in art thefts—but there are measures that can be taken to protect collections

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Art market

Forgery, drugs and sex abuse in the Canadian art world exposed in new documentary

There Are No Fakes connects a forged Norval Morrisseau painting to a crime ring behind "the greatest art scam in Canadian history"

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Art theft

Birthday heist: Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum on anniversary of artist's birth

The Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands is currently on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic

Podcast

Saving the art world’s self-employed amidst the coronavirus crisis

We explore the devastating effects of the pandemic on art communities and discuss the different support packages in the UK, Germany and the US. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793

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coronavirus

Majority of Berlin artists worried they can't pay rent due to coronavirus, survey finds

German government has introduced emergency measures to support the creative industry

Feature
coronavirus

Here's how to apply for financial aid during the coronavirus pandemic if you're self-employed or a small business in the arts

We have gathered information about grants and loans around the world to help you get through the Covid-19 crisis

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coronavirus

Berlin museums will close to stem spread of coronavirus

Culture ministers from the 16 states to meet today to discuss their response to the virus

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coronavirus

Germany promises financial support to help arts institutions hit by coronavirus

Grütters sees "massive burden" for arts sector as theatres and concert halls close, ticket sales dwindle

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Nazi loot

Hitler’s helpers? German dynasty’s restitution claim hangs on Nazi ties

Hohenzollern family is seeking compensation for thousands of works and expropriated property

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coronavirus

Austria’s federal museums close to prevent coronavirus spread

Albertina delays planned opening of new Vienna museum of modern art

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Art theft

Green Vault guards under investigation in Dresden jewel heist inquiry

Two are suspected of tampering with the alarm system; two more, on duty during the theft, are accused of an inadequate response

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Humboldt Forum

Goethe Institute teams up with Berlin's Humboldt Forum

Joint projects will include exhibitions, exchanges and education programs focussed on post-colonialism and sustainability

Preview
Exhibitions

Topless Beethoven to take centre stage in Leipzig survey of Symbolist artist Max Klinger

Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts hopes to raise awareness of the German sculptor whose work was dismissed by critics as "craft"

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Anniversary

Happy birthday Beuys: German museums band together to celebrate artist’s 2021 centenary

Twenty institutions in 12 cities are planning exhibitions and events for 100th anniversary of Joseph Beuys’s birth

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Openings

Semperbau museum in Dresden, home to Vermeer's hidden cupid painting, reopens after €49m renovation

The 19th-century palace is returning to the idea of showing sculpture alongside its Old Masters

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Exhibitions

Uffizi scientific committee resigns in dispute over Raphael loan

The committee had advised against moving Raphael’s portrait of Pope Leo X; the museum loaned it to Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale regardless

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Restitution

Italy hands Nazi-looted Renaissance sculpture from the Uffizi to Germany

Andrea della Robbia’s Mary Magdalene was acquired by Hermann Göring in 1941

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Parthenon marbles

Leaked draft of EU paper stirs Parthenon Marbles dispute

But the clause is unlikely to refer to the ancient Greek sculptures in the British Museum, expert says

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Public art

Carousel in Frankfurt to recall the Kindertransport that saved thousands of children from the Nazis

Yael Bartana's public sculpture commemorates those who were shipped out before the Second World War

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Sculpture Park

Sculpture park to show works by Ai Weiwei and Hans Arp at castle outside Berlin

Established by the founders of the Institute for Artists Estates, Loretta Würtenberger and Daniel Tümpel, the display will open in May at Schlossgut Schwante

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Art market

Goodbye Gerhard: Deutsche Bank shrinks art collection

Troubled firm offloads some major works, but vows to continue buying emerging artists’ work

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Nazi loot

German court rules in favour of Nazi-looted art database, although owners say a listing makes works unsellable

Lostart.de is caught between the conflicting demands of claimants and the holders of disputed art

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East German art

Arseholes or artists? How East German art is becoming a new collecting frontier

As a cache of communist pieces stored near Beeskow castle for 25 years is being rehabilitated, the market for such work is growing

Preview
Exhibitions

Angelica Kauffman, who was lauded in her lifetime but later largely ignored by art historians, gets new show

Travelling Kunstpalast exhibition will feature the only known ceiling paintings created by a woman in the 18th century

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Acquisitions

Hitler in Hell: German Historical Museum acquires George Grosz painting

Painted while Grosz was living in exile, the work has remained in the family since 1944

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Exhibitions

Two Iran exhibitions in Germany put on ice amid political tensions

Insurers refused to cover the transport of loans, including salt-mine mummies and Greek and Roman antiquities

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Restitution

Three Nazi-looted works bought by Gurlitt return to Jewish collector’s heirs

Two paintings by Jean-Louis Forain were discovered in Cornelius Gurlitt’s trove; the third work, by Constantin Guys, was restituted by another family member

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Art theft

Five Old Masters return to German castle 40 years after theft

The paintings, including works by Holbein and Hals, were smuggled across the Iron Curtain in the 1980s and recovered in a secret operation last year

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Restitution

Berlin restitutes painting to heirs of 'degenerate' artist for the first time

A portrayal of Lot by Hans Baldung Grien was sold to the Gemäldegalerie in 1937 by Hans Purrmann

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Restitution

Arts Council England asks for help in returning looted artefacts held in UK museums

Tender opened for guidance around repatriation questions for items including those acquired from former colonies

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Art market

Sotheby’s to auction three Nazi-looted works restituted to Jewish collector’s heirs

Two paintings by Signac and one by Pissarro are expected to fetch as much as £20m

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Restitution

New evidence cited in restitution claim for Panama Papers Modigliani

Dealer Oscar Stettiner’s grandson says painting, now owned by David Nahmad, was looted by Nazis

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Art market

Art Berlin is scrapped due to venue uncertainty and lack of profits

Organiser of German fair describes cancellation as "regrettable"

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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