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Art market

American collector to sue France over restitution of $1.7m Pissarro painting

Real estate developer Bruce Tell claims compensation after French High court confirms return of Pissarro's Pea Harvest to heirs of collector Simon Bauer

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Australia

‘Broken’ heritage laws: Australia launches investigation after 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art is obliterated

Parliamentary enquiry will examine how mining giant Rio Tinto obtained legal right to destroy ancient Juukan Gorge site

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Monuments

Russian art collector Andrei Filatov offers to buy America’s problematic statues

His Art Russe Foundation has made offers to preserve monuments of Theodore Roosevelt and Alexander Baranov that have been the target of protesters in the US

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Frida Kahlo

Spanish dealer claims to find long-lost Frida Kahlo painting

Missing for six decades, La Mesa Herida (The Wounded Table) may be in a London warehouse, but experts say the work is likely a fake

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Controversies

Pace Gallery shuts down homophobic slurs on Instagram over Peter Hujar photographs

In Pride Month post, gallery speaks out against "individuals who wish to degrade marginalised communities"

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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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Unions

In a virtual rally, Carnegie Museums employees launch union organising drive

Goals include a greater role in decision-making at the four Pittsburgh institutions, which reopened Monday

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Cuba

Tania Bruguera reportedly detained by Cuban authorities hours before anti-racism protest in Havana

The artist’s final message posted on social media this morning was “they are taking me”

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Brazil

Fire destroys part of oldest university museum in Brazil following a failed safety inspection

Police are investigating a 15 June blaze at the Museum of Natural History and Botanical Gardens of the University of Minas Gerais, home to more than 260,000 works of folk art and ethnographic objects

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Auctions

Waning market for African artefacts? Controversial Benin bronze fails to sell at Christie's

Academics challenge the provenance of the Edo plaque as well as two Igbo alusi figures that sold under estimate for €212,500

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Art market

Brave new world: Francis Bacon triptych sells for $84.5m in Sotheby's first major live-streamed evening sale

Marathon online high-tech auction was the first of its kind attempted by Sotheby's and totalled $363.2m, boosting confidence that a top-end market still exists

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Museums

National Gallery will be first major London museum to reopen after coronavirus closure

Visitors will be requested to wear masks and stay two-metres apart from 8 July

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Photography

Magnum signs five new photographers after its lack of diversity comes under attack

As the photographic agency shows signs of moving towards greater inclusion, affirmative action is a hot topic at the annual general meeting

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US politics

Art history fact check: Trump can’t tell the difference between Teddy Roosevelt and an anonymous Remington cowboy

In a defence of racist statues as educational opportunities, the US president misidentifies a famous bronze as a portrait of a president in a Fox News interview

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Job losses

Art Institute of Chicago lays off 51 employees

Cuts come as US museums slash costs in response to loss of revenue

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Art market

Might Rupert Murdoch be Art Basel's next big investor?

Media and television mogul is reportedly in negotiations to take a stake in art fair's Swiss parent company MCH Group

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Russia

Forty protestors detained for defending Russian activist facing prison for posting art with LGBTQ message

Russia's arts community rallying behind Yulia Tsvetkova whose trial starts in July

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Public sculpture

Essex’s unlikely sculpture town is set for a renaissance

Built in the wake of the Second World War, Harlow maintains a remarkable collection with pieces by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Rodin

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Keith Haring

Once hidden, Keith Haring’s Amsterdam mural is ready for restoration

Conservators will repair paint losses and weatherproof a work that the artist executed “in a sort of frenzy” in 1986

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Obituaries

Milton Glaser, the man behind ‘I ♥ NY’ logo, has died, aged 91

The influential designer helped define the visual culture of the 1960s and 70s in America

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Antiquities & Archaeology

Paris dealer who sold golden sarcophagus to New York’s Metropolitan Museum charged with fraud and money laundering

The work was returned to Egypt last year after officials were shown evidence it might have been looted during the Arab Spring in 2011

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coronavirus

See what a bustling Canaletto scene would look like emptied of people

José Manuel Ballester, the Spanish artist behind a series of reimagined Old Master paintings shared widely online during the coronavirus pandemic, has created a new work to help raise funds for Italy’s Pinacoteca de Brera

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Brazil

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro appoints actor Mário Frias the new secretary of culture, sparking controversy

Frias is the fifth person to hold the role since Bolsonaro dissolved the ministry of culture after his election in 2019

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Auction houses

Christie's merges Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art departments into one as it restructures and cuts costs

New 20th and 21st Centuries department will be led by Alex Rotter and Giovanna Bertazzoni

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Russia

Russian theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov found guilty of fraud and ordered to pay $1.85m in damages to culture ministry

Accused of embezzling funds while staging a contemporary arts festival, Serebrennikov faced six years in prison but was handed a suspended sentence

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Art schools

Hunter College art staff protest expected cuts for contract workers that would ‘hobble’ the programme

The school’s full and part-time faculty speak out in defence of college assistants who are at risk of losing their jobs and healthcare

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Three to see

Three online exhibitions honouring Pride Month

From the history of discriminatory blood donation policies at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art to the history of the rainbow flag

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Performance art

Batshit crazy? Russian performance artist eats live bat in protest against Big Pharma

Petr Davydtchenko's performance video, which will go on show in Italy, was inspired by the response of pharmaceutical companies to the coronavirus pandemic

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Crime

Teenager who threw boy from Tate Modern is given a life sentence with minimum term of 15 years

Jonty Bravery intended to kill, judge says

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Exhibitions

Major slavery exhibition heads to MFA Houston and the National Gallery of Art in Washington

Afro-Atlantic Histories, which opened in São Paulo in 2018, tells the story of the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies

Podcast

Art and social media: do museums need memes?

Plus, artist Rita Keegan on her postponed show and Julia Peyton-Jones on Leonardo. Produced in association with Christie's

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Obituaries

Manuel Felguérez, Mexican abstract master, has died, aged 91

The artist broke with tradition in the post-war years and was an early pioneer of film and digital art,

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Openings

Compound, a space for art and wellness, to open in Long Beach, California

The inaugural programming includes displays of work by Glenn Kaino and Tavares Strachan and free yoga, meditation, and gardening classes

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Art market

London galleries launch concurrent exhibitions on AR app

New co-operative grew out of a WhatsApp group set up in March for galleries to share advice in the wake of UK’s coronavirus lockdown

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Russia

Culture crackdown ahead of Putin's referendum

Artist Pyotr Verzilov was sentenced to 15 days in prison for "petty hooliganism" in latest clampdown on the arts in Russia

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Li Zhensheng

In memoriam: Chinese dissident photojournalist Li Zhensheng, chronicler of China's Cultural Revolution

Li, who died aged 79, spent his life “striving to bear witness and document history”

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Arthur Jafa

Arthur Jafa’s searing chronicle of Black America to be screened by museums worldwide for 48 hours

Fourteen institutions including Tate will livestream Love is the Message, The Message is Death

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Job losses

Philadelphia Museum of Art to eliminate more than 20% of its staff

Loss of jobs comes amid plunge in revenue from coronavirus shutdown

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reopenings

Met plans to reopen flagship building on 29 August after five-month shutdown

Other New York museums are expected to follow its lead, but it all depends on the city entering Phase 4 of reopening

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Antiquities

Former Louvre curator among five arrested in Paris in antiquities trafficking investigation

Case involves "hundreds of objects worth millions" looted from the Near and Middle East

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Museums & Heritage

Facebook and Instagram ban trading of historical artefacts

Heritage group Athar were part of a campaign highlighting the social media giants' “black market in antiquities”

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Interview

Kaywin Feldman on how America's National Gallery of Art will 'attract the nation and reflect it, too'

The Washington museum's first female director is breaking down old silos and diversifying the staff, collection and exhibitions

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Public art

Suspected arson damages Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire in San Francisco’s Presidio park

The 100ft-tall sculpture is still standing after a major blaze, but crews will determine if it can remain in place

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Art law

Alleging censorship, ACLU sues Miami Beach for removal of painting memorialising the police shooting of Raymond Herisse

A painting by Rodney Jackson was removed from an exhibition focusing on racial justice issues at the request of Miami Beach officials

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Museums & Heritage

Seattle Art Museum responds gamely to fake news release saying it is dissolving

Institution says announcement that it will be run by organisations led by black and indigenous Americans was “a well-done piece of satire”

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diversity

Curators at Guggenheim demand ‘urgent’ reforms of racial inequities at museum

In a letter to management, they call for minority hiring efforts and an inquiry into the treatment of guest curator

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Museums

UK museums can reopen from 4 July—but for some it's too soon

News of the government's latest easing of lockdown measures today has been welcomed by the art world but "huge problems still remain for the sector"

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Restoration

Furniture restorer disfigures Murillo’s 17th-century Virgin Mary—and charges owner €1,200

Spain’s art conservation community say the country needs to better regulate the industry

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Restitution

National museum in Stockholm to return stolen 16th-century painting to Poland

Officials in Poland and Sweden piece together provenance of work by School of Lucas Cranach the Elder

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Art market

To encourage galleries, Art Basel in Hong Kong relaxes application criteria for 2021 fair

Galleries no longer required to have a physical space, down payments cut from 100% to 25% of stand fees and automatic re-admittance for 2020 ABHK exhibitors

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Palestine

A global pandemic brings new life to Palestinian artist's face masks

Gazan-born artist Mohammed Musallam finds new meaning in a past face mask project, which is based upon a traditional keffiyeh design

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Obituaries

Gaylord Chan—one of the last of a generation of Hong Kong Modernist painters—has died, aged 95

The artist was known for his brightly coloured abstract works, and as the founder of an art school that fostered a new generation of well-known artists

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Conservation & Preservation

Menokin preservation project offers a literal window onto layers of Virginia history

Structural glass replaces missing walls and floors of a 1769 house, exposing indelible links to slavery

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Monuments

Controversial Roosevelt statue will be removed from entrance to New York’s American Museum of Natural History

The former president’s great-grandson supports the removal of “relics of another age”

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Art market

Beijing gallery to open near Old Street putting unsung Chinese artists on the London map

Tabula Rasa, which was founded in the 798 art district in 2015, hopes to open in the UK capital this autumn

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Art education

Unemployment crisis looms over thousands of academics as casual contracts are axed or postponed by UK’s top arts universities

Black and minority ethnic staff at institutions including Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art are at particular risk

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Art market

Video, virtual hearings and 'e-bundles': how remote justice is being served in art cases during the pandemic

A focus on long-term planning and contract law are among the chief lockdown concerns

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Sculpture

Windrush sculptures honouring UK's Caribbean immigrants to be unveiled in London

Leading black artists Thomas J. Price and Veronica Ryan's works in Hackney are due to be completed in 2021

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Protests

Protest letter urges New York art institutions to rectify ‘egregious acts’ rooted in white supremacy

Signatories cite “unfair practices”, unequal pay and lack of diversity

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Juneteenth

Google Doodle honours Juneteenth with art and words of liberation

The tech giant commissioned an original animation with illustrations by artist Loveis Wise and a poem read by LeVar Burton

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Protests

National Trust for Historic Preservation supports removal of Confederate statues that glorify white power

Trust says such monuments “do not reflect, and are in fact abhorrent to, our values”

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coronavirus

Works of art hung in hospital staff rooms are a tonic for UK healthcare workers

Rana Begum and the Chapman brothers have donated works to the #100NHSRooms initiative

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Art fairs

October Frieze fairs in London will be smaller, reconfigured and may be combined—if they can go ahead, organisers say

The fair group sent a letter to exhibitors guaranteeing full refunds if its autumn events are also forced to cancel due to virus concerns

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Art market

New Annie Leibovitz show jettisons signature portraits to focus on interior life during lockdown

Hauser & Wirth online exhibition, launching today, includes limited edition print sold in aid of Covid-19 relief efforts

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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

'Alarmingly at odds with reality': museum directors attack Creative Industries Federation's report on impact of coronavirus

Report estimates virus is causing 9% drop in revenue, but chairman of the UK National Museum Directors’ Council says 50% loss is more accurate

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Guerilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls focus on Black Lives Matter in new video

Art Night’s Trailers series also includes works by Mark Leckey and Oona Doherty

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Art market

Mystic’s Maritime Art Gallery to close as marine art takes a dive

The market for seascapes has plunged and younger generations are scuttling galleries’ hopes for a new collector base

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Black Lives Matter

Indigenous artists stand with the Black Lives Matter movement as part of new community initiative

The Rapid Response Art Fund supports Indigenous artists in BIPOC communities that have been affected by the systemic racism that has been "a driving force for hundreds of years" in the US

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Art crime

German art dealer and socialite Angela Gulbenkian arrested in Lisbon

Accused of fraudulent sales of a Kusama pumpkin sculpture and a Warhol print, the dealer and collector awaits extradition to the UK after missing court hearing

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Art fairs

Nanne Dekking steps down as Tefaf chairman, replaced by Hidde van Seggelen

Art dealer takes the reins of the fair's executive committee, while four women join the board of trustees

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Censorship

'I have a 1% chance of being acquitted': Russian activist faces six years in prison for posting vagina drawings online

Police say the body-positive images, accompanied by captions like ‘Real women have body fat and it’s normal,’ violate pornography laws

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Books

Has Yale’s mysterious Voynich Manuscript finally been deciphered?

A German Egyptologist believes he has cracked the code to the enigmatic 15th century illustrated book—but many others have made the same claim in the past and failed

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racism

In open-letter, Jewish Museum staff ask for greater diversity and transparency

The move follows growing frustration after a Zoom meeting among employees and upper management at the New York institution