Uzbek museum head rescinds resignation
Marinika Babanazarova, who was forced to step down in August as the director of the Savitsky Collection in Nukus, Uzbekistan, rescinded her resignation in a letter posted on the museum’s Facebook page just days later. Babanazarova stands accused of commissioning replicas of Russian avant-garde paintings from the museum collection so she could then sell the originals, allegations which she denies.
Gaudí’s first commission to open as a museum
Casa Vicens, the first house designed by the Spanish Catalan architect Antoni GaudÌ, in Barcelona in 1888, is being converted into a museum, which is due to open next year. The building belongs to the Andorran bank MoraBanc. In 2005, the building was named a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Artist will lead France’s top art institution
Toulouse-born artist Jean-Marc Bustamante was appointed the director of France’s leading art school, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, after the controversial departure of its former head Nicolas Bourriaud earlier this year. Bustamante has taught there since 1998.
Dan Flavin light piece to be installed inside cave
As The Art Newspaper went to press, the artist duo Allora and Calzadilla were set to install Puerto Rican Light (to Jeanie Blake) (1965), a work by the late US artist Dan Flavin, inside a limestone cave in a conservation area in Puerto Rico. The piece, which will be in situ for a year, was commissioned by the US-based Dia Art Foundation, but it has not been authorised by the Flavin estate. It is Dia’s first long-term installation outside the US since Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Oaks in Kassel, Germany, in 1982.
Crane collapse in Mecca kills more than 100
At least 107 people were killed when a construction crane crashed into the Grand Mosque at Mecca. The Saudi government, which is working on a multi-billion dollar project to expand the mosque, blamed the collapse on high winds. King Salman of Saudi Arabia has blocked the construction company, Binladin Group, from continuing work. In recent years, Saudi artists and young people have opposed the destruction of old Ottoman Mecca. The disaster occurred only ten days before the beginning of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.
Madrid foundation will open space in Barcelona
A Madrid foundation set up by the Mapfre group insurance company is opening a space in Barcelona on 10 October. The new venue, located in the house built by the Garriga-Nogués family in the late 19th century, will host two photography exhibitions and one major fine art show a year. The inaugural display, which is organised by Isabelle Cahn, the chief curator at the Musée d’Orsay, focuses on Post-Impressionism.
Sale of Twombly to fund Jewish cultural centre
The philanthropist Audrey Irmas has pledged $30m from the sale of Cy Twombly’s Untitled (1968) towards the construction of a Rem Koolhaas-designed Jewish cultural centre in Los Angeles. The money would cover around half of the building cost. Irmas bought the picture 25 years ago at Sotheby’s, for $3.9m, from Charles Saatchi, according to the New York Times. It is expected to sell for more than $60m at Sotheby’s on 11 November.