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Humboldt Forum

Opening of Humboldt Forum delayed again as coronavirus lockdown extended—but you can view it online

New Berlin arts complex suffers renewed setback in its problem-beset opening plans

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Germany

Record culture budget approved by German parliament

The budget for 2021 allocates funding to preserve Berlin museum buildings, renovate the Bayreuth Festival theatre, boost provenance research and grant free admission to the Jewish Museum Berlin

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Cuba

Hunger strike against Cuba's human rights abuses left artist in ‘critical condition’

Activists and artists were trapped in Havana building following demonstrations against police action

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Museums

Why us? European museums cry foul over second lockdown

Shops remain open in many countries even as museums are plunged once more into Covid-19 deep-freeze

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Museums

A date with Mona Lisa? A painting by Soulages? Louvre's fundraising auction offers all to the highest bidder

Online sale seeks to support a new space for art education and outreach that will open in the autumn of 2021

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Looted art

Museum of the Bible returns hand-written gospels looted from Greece during the First World War

The Eikosiphoinissa Manuscript 220 was among hundreds of objects taken from the Kosinitza Monastery by Bulgarian separatist troops in 1917

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Art market

New gallery platform South South launches to promote art from outside the dominant US-Europe axis

Goodman Gallery's Liza Essers came up with the idea in lockdown and plans an online selling event, called Veza, using auction technology in February

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UK politics

Spending Review: UK museums to receive £320m during ‘biggest economic decline in 300 years’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces slight boost to culture department's budget, but some institutions face extended closure under new tiered system

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Prizes

London teenagers in cancelled prom outfits win Taylor Wessing Prize

Alys Tomlinson spent three months during lockdown taking the portrait of teenagers in the midst of their “lost summer”

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Restitution

Chair of Dutch Nazi-loot committee resigns ahead of report on restitution policy

Alfred Hammerstein’s departure follows criticism of Dutch committee’s decisions

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Indigenous art

Where to learn about and support Indigenous art and culture on Native American Heritage Month

From the Smithsonian's award-winning Americans exhibition to virtual Indigenous art markets

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British Museum

Caffè Nero? The British Museum is looking for help with naming its blockbuster show on the Roman emperor

The survey, with suggestions including “the man behind the monster” and “emperor, tyrant, traitor?”, was sent out to members of the museum’s Friends scheme

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Repatriation

Artist discovers looted statue in Canadian museum and returns it to India

The 18th-century work was stolen by the museum's namesake from an active temple over 100 years ago

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Prizes

Exiled Kurdish artist—who smuggled paintings from her Turkish jail cell—wins inaugural Carol Rama Award

Zehra Doğan was imprisoned for nearly three years under terrorism charges for work of art shared on Twitter

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US politics

What will Joe Biden's culture policy look like?

The art world cheered at Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election. But, with a formidable to-do list—not least dealing with the coronavirus pandemic—where will the arts feature on his agenda?

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Antiquities & Archaeology

Hallucinogenic flower inspired Native Californian rock art, archaeologists say

“Doses” of datura plant used in communal ceremonies have been found embedded in the ceiling of Pinwheel Cave

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Museums & Heritage

'Rent has increased by 3,100% since 2012': London heritage society says it may sell collection after UK government hikes costs

The Society of Antiquaries is launching a campaign to stay in historic home of Burlington House, close to Piccadilly

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Documenta 15

Dozens asked to participate in Documenta 15—only to realise invitations are fake

Documenta organisers have warned about scam emails and requests recipients to contact them

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Liverpool Biennial

Liverpool Biennial director Fatos Üstek resigns after run-in with board of trustees

Two trustees, the artist Fiona Banner and the art lawyer Jon Sharples, also stepped down in support

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Art market

'The law has to fall on someone': Seller of allegedly fake Frans Hals must pay Sotheby's $5.3m for cancelled sale, judge insists

Co-vendor of the painting, Fairlight Art Ventures had appealed the ruling last year but court upheld the decision yesterday, finding in favour of the auction house

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Land art

Alien visitors or avant-garde installation? Mysterious monolith discovered in the Utah desert

The large object spotted by biologists resembles the work of sculptor John McCracken, or a prop from Kubrick's sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Obituaries

Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, Outsider art champion and Art Preserve founder, has died, aged 79

She helped establish the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as one of the leading institutions dedicated to self-taught artists

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Labour

MFA Boston workers vote to unionise in sweeping vote

An overwhelming 90% of employees voted to join the United Auto Workers Local 2110

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Acquisitions

Jaws shark installed in the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles

The museum, due to open in April 2021, has acquired the 25-foot prop model for its permanent collection

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Antiquities & Archaeology

New York authorities return ancient stele to Egypt

The object was seized on its way to an art fair last year and came from the same network that sold other looted antiquities to museums

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Acquisitions

Stedelijk expands collection of socially critical art by acquiring works by Russian activists Yulia Tsvetkova and Anna Tereshkina

Both artists have been detained by Russian authorities

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Antiquities & Archaeology

Pompeii dig unearths incredible preserved remains of two men engulfed in volcanic ash

Plaster casts were made of the newly discovered victims of Vesuvius eruption, which are believed to have been a wealthy landowner and his slave

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Openings

Boola Bardip: Perth’s revamped Western Australian Museum opens with new name and focus on Aboriginal heritage

The museum worked with around 60 Aboriginal language groups across the vast state to bring their perspectives into every gallery

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Public art

Provocative Marilyn Monroe sculpture to return to Palm Springs—and the arts community is not happy about it

A plan to install the kitsch work in front of the city’s art museum has raised complaints from the community, which has called Forever Marilyn “blatantly sexist”

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Art fairs

Salon fair releases glossy, digitally enhanced publication instead of another online viewing platform

The New York art and design event has issued a 152-page magazine with interviews, features and QR codes that link to multi-media content

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coronavirus

Colourist painter and Royal Academician Philip Sutton opens new gallery—at the age of 92

Artist—who is now blind in one eye and lives in a sheltered care home—is launching a space in Bridport, England, to sell his own works

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Art market

'A crisis is always a good time to unite': Russian art galleries form new alliance to boost industry

The Association of Galleries aims to simplify the country's customs procedures and secure government funding

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Museum entry fees

London's National Gallery charges £8 for virtual tour of blockbuster Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition

Move reflects how museums could cash in on digital initiatives

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Art market

Carphone Warehouse billionaire David Ross did buy the Royal Opera House's $12.8m Hockney—now he is loaning it back

The portrait of David Webster will return immediately to the opera house before going to the National Portrait Gallery in 2023 for its reopening exhibition

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Looted art

Jewish collections looted by the Nazis to be examined and traced in new database

The Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project will begin with a pilot scheme focusing on the Old Masters collection of Adolphe Schloss, which was seized by the Gestapo

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Sculpture parks

A seven-mile underwater sculpture park is slated to open in Miami Beach next December

The Reef Line, designed by the architect Shohei Shigematsu/OMA, will include new commissions by Leandro Erlich, Ernesto Neto and Agustina Woodgate

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Resignations

After controversy over her leadership, Stanford says director of its Cantor Arts Center has resigned

Museum undertook an investigation of Susan Dackerman’s allegedly “toxic” leadership style and departures of many staff members

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Museums & Heritage

Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art will shut down again amid spike in coronavirus cases

Move by Washington, DC museums comes amid a wave of new US closures

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Art market

Billionaire art collector Sheldon Solow's tax-exempt art foundation was infamously inaccessible—now his widow says she will open it to the public

The real estate developer died on Tuesday aged 92. His collection in New York has been parodied for being almost impossible to visit despite receiving tax breaks

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Bakehouse Art Complex

Miami non-profit launches virtual sales platform with a generous donation from the Martin Margulies Foundation

The Bakehouse Art Complex hopes to raise $100,000 in its inaugural sale to help artists amid the Covid-19 pandemic

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Art market

Rediscovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci's 'little devil' lover and collaborator sells for record €1.7m in France

Penitent Magdalene by Salaì, who entered Leonardo's workshop at the age of ten, was estimated at €100,000 to €150,000 and is one of only a handful of known works by the artist

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Art market

Pace to take over Blain Southern's former gallery in London expansion

Announcement comes as two of the gallery's presidents in the US are facing allegations of abuse in the workplace

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Art Fund

Art Fund launches £1m crowdfunding appeal to help UK museums fighting for survival

After months without income due to coronavirus closures, new survey shows that museums are operating with just 25% of previous visitor numbers

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Antiquities & Archaeology

Incredible 1,000-year-old Viking burial site found in Norway belonged to 'Iron Age elite'

Using radar technology, archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a 19m-long ship beneath a farmer's fields

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Gwangju Biennale

Gwangju Biennale artistic directors discuss Korean shamanism and planning in a pandemic

13th edition of the biannual Korean art exhibition will look at queer theory, feminism and how centuries of tradition collide with contemporary art

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Coronavirus resources

Artists combat New York’s Covid-19 hunger crisis, one plate at a time

As the city braces for a tough winter, the Coalition for the Homeless launches limited-edition Artist Plate Project

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Performa

Performa biennial hosts virtual telethon, evoking the work of George Orwell, Nam June Paik—and, of course, Jerry Lewis

The event has been produced in partnership with Pace gallery and will feature new and archival material

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Law

US museums groups raise concerns as settlement deal over Nazi-looted Pissarro heads back to court

The work, returned to the French heiress Léone-Noëlle Meyer in 2016, was meant to go back on display at Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum next year

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Collectors

Actor Samuel L. Jackson and footballer Samuel Eto’o pay tribute to art collector Sindika Dokolo during six-hour televised memorial

Dokolo was buried at Brompton Cemetery in West London yesterday following his funeral at Westminster Cathedral

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Archaeology

Egyptian archaeologists make the 'biggest discovery of 2020'

More than 100 painted coffins have been found at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara, south of Cairo

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Architecture

Architect Emilio Ambasz’s foundation donates $10m to MoMA to create a green architecture institute

New entity will spur research on the relationship between architecture and nature and work toward “environmental justice”, the New York museum says

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Museums & Heritage

‘From bad to worse’: over half of US museums have laid off or furloughed staff, survey shows

Museums expect to lose an average of 35% of budgeted income this year, plus an additional 28% in 2021

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Nagorno-Karabakh

Metropolitan Museum of Art appeals for protection of cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh

Plea comes as Azerbaijan moves to take control of swaths of territory under a Russian-brokered peace deal

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Art market

Frieze Los Angeles bids goodbye to Paramount Studios as art fair is postponed to July

Social distancing rules have limited the number of people on film sets creating a movie production backlog

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coronavirus

Russia sends Moscow’s museums into second lockdown until mid-January

Cultural workers voice frustration at mixed closure orders, as theatres, concert halls and restaurants are allowed to stay open

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Thefts

German police arrest three suspects in Dresden jewel heist investigation

More than 1,600 police officers take part in raids in Berlin to solve violent theft from Dresden’s Green Vault

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Museums

Friends forever? Museums rely on generosity of paying members and loyalty schemes to survive pandemic

Many UK institutions are hoping members will continue to support them despite limited benefits and recurring closures

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Art market

Art Basel in Hong Kong postponed to May as coronavirus throws 2021 art fairs into disarray

Summer crush expected with Art Basel’s flagship show in Switzerland still scheduled for June and Taipei Dangdai moved back to July

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Books

Prizewinning Gainsborough publication shines light on lives of painter's female sitters

New book, which reveals how the Old Masters influenced the 18th-century British artist, has won the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History

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Openings

Challenges overcome as Houston's Museum of Fine Arts completes $450m campus expansion

Delayed by just three weeks amid the pandemic, new Kinder Building will dramatically increase space for Modern and contemporary art

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Biennials & festivals

UK's £120m post-Brexit festival selects teams—including art organisations—for next step of controversial initiative

Serpentine Galleries, Tate and historian David Olusoga are on the shortlist for £3m research and development funding

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Art market

Seller contests having to repay Sotheby’s for allegedly forged Frans Hals

In latest hearing of ongoing legal saga, Fairlight Art Ventures, co-vendor of painting sold in 2011 for $11.75m, is refusing to pay auction house more than $5.3m

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Heritage

New heritage body aims to keep Unesco in check by calling on public to report sites in danger

Our World Heritage says it is stepping in to save at-risk locations as “safeguarding has become a secondary concern” for Unesco

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Discoveries

Constable oil sketch—previously dismissed as fake—goes on sale for £150,000

Sworder's auction house is selling the work, which is one of many by the Romantic painter depicting the area around Dedham Vale where he grew up

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Museums & Heritage

Unesco under fire for using Met objects in anti-trafficking campaign

Advertisements said that the works were looted in recent years, but Met documentation shows that they have a much longer provenance

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colonialism

Somerset House to dig into its colonial past

Move follows release of National Trust’s slavery report, which was accused of following a ‘woke agenda’

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Heritage

Plans for £1.7bn tunnel under Stonehenge—approved by UK government—sparks criticism

Unesco opposes the scheme which could result in "total loss" of archaeological treasures but English Heritage says it will "reconnect the site with its prehistoric landscape"

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Philanthropy

Freelands Foundation awards £1.27m in diversity funding—including Windrush education programme

The move follows the foundation's launch of a diversity action plan which aims to stamp out racial inequality in the visual arts

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Joan Miró

Miró Labyrinth meanders towards restoration at south of France's Maeght Foundation

Conservation project tackles damage to Joan Miró's terraced maze of sculptures and ceramics in grounds of Modern art museum

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Museums

First look at David Adjaye's planned museum for Benin City

Ghanaian-born London architect is working with the British Museum and Nigerian organisations to show “the most comprehensive display in the world of Benin Bronzes”

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Design

Archives of Ivan Chermayeff, the designer behind Smithsonian sun and MoMA logo, donated to New York’s School of Visual Arts

The influential designer taught at the school and for years and students will now have access to his professional and personal work

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Art market

Frieze art fairs global director Victoria Siddall takes ‘strategic’ role as board director

Frieze magazine publisher Rebecca Ann Siegel appointed director of Americas and content and will oversee the New York and Los Angeles fairs

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Art market

Collection of Balthus drawings and paintings to be sold for €1.2m—so why no mention of his infatuation with pubescent girls?

The works are from the estate of the artist’s teenage “muse and model” Frédérique Tison, who was also his step-niece

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Stolen art

Samsung partners with art crime expert to hunt for world's missing masterpieces

Works by Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne, which were stolen in dramatic art heists, are available to view online

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Performance art

Popular apocalyptic beach performance from 2019's Venice Biennale will pop up in Berlin Bauhaus swimming pool

Sun & Sea (Marina) won the Golden Lion for Lithuania

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Heritage

Unesco, stop citing 'bogus' $10bn figure, art trade pleads

Ahead of a major anniversary this weekend, the international organisation is under fire for apparently exaggerating the scale of the illicit trade in cultural goods

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Polls

A ‘snapshot in time’: how US museum directors viewed their world before the pandemic

In a sign of how drastically things would change, fewer than half prioritised online offerings in a wide-ranging survey

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Acquisitions

John Waters, the ‘Pope of Trash’, gives his treasures to Baltimore Museum of Art

The director and film-maker has donated around 375 works to his hometown institution—and will have a pair of restrooms named after him

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Museums & Heritage

Metropolitan Museum board appoints first woman co-chair

Candace Beinecke and Hamilton James will lead the trustees

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Public art

Anselm Kiefer makes first new works for Paris's Pantheon in almost a century

President Emmanuel Macron chose the German artist for the commission that commemorates the French writer and First World War soldier Maurice Genevoix

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Appointments

Gordon Parks Foundation hires programme director to expand artist and social justice initiatives

Michal Raz-Russo, a photography curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, will oversee new grants, fellowships, exhibitions and publications

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Art market

The devil is in the paperwork—don't be caught out by provenance fraud

The rise of the online art market means due diligence on purchasing art is becoming increasingly complex

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Restoration

The potato head of Palencia: defaced Spanish statue latest victim of botched restoration

Conservation professionals have questioned why Spain's heritage is continually handed over to those with no formal training

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coronavirus

Uffizi director Eike Schmidt has contracted coronavirus

Museum chief is asymptomatic and says he will continue working in quarantine

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Museums & Heritage

From the Dalai Lama’s tailoring to beekeeping in Kenya, British Museum saves world's dying skills

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme will be extended for seven more years with £8.8m grant from Arcadia fund

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Public sculpture

Twitter explodes with debate around long-awaited statue of feminist trailblazer Mary Wollstonecraft

Sculpture by Maggi Hambling is the result of a decade-long campaign to honour the 18th-century women's rights advocate

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Arts funding

Will UK government furlough extension make museums rethink redundancy plans?

Petition launched calling for Southbank Centre staff to be reinstated in light of Chancellor’s announcement while Royal Academy confirms coronavirus funding snub

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Protest

Amid nationwide pro-choice protests, leading Polish artist Joanna Piotrowska donates poignant photo to raise money for women's rights charity

Only one edition out of a 100 are left as donations flood website

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Memorials

In honour of Armistice Day, more than 100 English war memorials listed as sites of historical importance

Monuments commemorating the First and Second World Wars—mostly built in small towns and villages—are added to Historic England's list of protected places

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Art market

All eyes on Shanghai as city hosts multiple fairs despite first coronavirus case in months

New Art Tower will be hub of a busy art week alongside Art021 and West Bund Art & Design Fair

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Indigenous art

Minneapolis art museum criticised for keeping ancient Indigenous objects

University of Minnesota graduate students have joined Native nations in a long repatriation fight for Mimbres funerary objects controversially held by the Weisman Art Museum

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Robert Indiana

End in sight for legal battle over Robert Indiana's legacy

After two-and-a-half years and $8m in legal costs, an agreement between the artist's estate and his long-time representative is on the table

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Art market

New York state sues Sotheby's for allegedly helping collector evade tax on $27m of art

Auction house "vigorously refutes the unfounded allegations" made by the attorney general, who claims the auction house knowingly aided the offshore company Porsal Equities

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Vatican

Hackers target oldest bible and Vatican’s other priceless treasures in online attacks

The Apostolic Library has partnered with a cybersecurity firm to prevent further attempts to steal and manipulate its digital collection

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US politics

Kara Walker kicks Donald Trump to the curb and more of the best Instagram art responding to the US election

From Jules de Balincourt's painting of Kamala Harris to Rania Matar's photograph of Boston celebrations, we look at artists' reactions to Joe Biden's win

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election 2020

Art world rejoices in Biden’s win of US presidency

Artists, collectors, policy makers and gallery owners share their reactions after the tightly fought election

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Design

Mississippi voters approve new state flag design, trading controversial Confederate symbol for magnolia flower

The replacement banner was approved by a 71% majority, and was created by a local graphic designer

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Philip Guston

After tumult, museums say that a delayed Philip Guston exhibition will open in 2022

Citing “unease and anxiety” about the show, the director of MFA, Boston predicts it will spur “in-depth discussions about great art”

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layoffs

Keith Davis, senior curator at Nelson-Atkins, resigns to protest colleague's layoff

Museum’s drive to cut 36 jobs eliminated the position of photography curator Jane L. Aspinwall, who helped oversee acclaimed collection

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Heritage

Historic churches of Naples are at risk from sinkholes

Researchers have identified nine buildings that require a “quick response” and a further 57 places of worship that could suffer from future cavity collapses