Anna Somers Cocks

Anna Somers Cocks is an editor and journalist. She was a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, then editor of Apollo magazine. In 1990 she launched The Art Newspaper, edited it until 2002 and was then involved in its parent company in various capacities until 2018. She was chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund for 12 years and is now investigating how climate change will affect the heritage.

News
Museums

Send the religious art in museums back to the churches, says the director of the Uffizi gallery

Eike Schmidt says up to a thousand works are languishing in state-run stores all over Italy

News
Venice

Explosion in chemicals factory threatens Venice with cloud of toxic smoke

The fire is now under control, but the mayor warns people to stay indoors and keep their windows closed

News
Art & Technology

If the sea destroys Venice, can digital technology rebuild it?

The Art Newspaper is co-hosting a live YouTube discussion on digital innovations and the preservation of cultural heritage on 1-3 May

Comment
Religious art

Pope Francis, his crucifix and the Virgin Mary: miraculous or merely traditional?

Art history removes the numinous from art. At the Vatican’s Covid-19 blessing we saw it invoked again

News
Venice

Venice cruise ship crash in 2019 was caused by captain’s incompetence

Contrary to assurances, the MSC Opera was sailing under its own power, reports the navy

Comment
coronavirus

Letter from Italy: the churches—open, but without services—are the only place to see art

The Art Newspaper's founder-editor Anna Somers Cocks on the impact of Covid-19 on Turin, where she is in lockdown

Podcast

Coronavirus: dispatches from Italy and China

We speak to our journalists Anna Somers Cocks and Lisa Movius about their experiences of lockdown. Plus, we begin a new feature—Lonely Works—where we look at individual works of art that are now hanging unseen in galleries. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793

News
Obituaries

Vittorio Gregotti, the last modern architect of Venice, dies of coronavirus aged 92

He designed many prestigious buildings in Italy and internationally and led the visual arts section of the Venice Biennale twice in the 1970s

News
Raphael

For this week only: unrepeatable chance to see Raphael’s tapestries with Michelangelo’s ceiling

The Vatican Museums celebrate Raphael’s 500th anniversary by hanging his tapestries in the Sistine Chapel for which they were created

News
Exhibitions

British dealer James Butterwick cleared of defamation for describing Russian Avant-garde works in Mantua exhibition as fake

Italian judge said his opinion of the 2013 show was based on his “proven and recognised competence and experience”

Preview
Exhibitions

Old Masters, new tricks: Chatsworth House drawings are off to Sheffield

Almost 60 works by artists including Rembrandt, Annibale Carracci and Sebastiano del Piombo will go on show at the Millennium Gallery

News
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

News
Catalogues raisonnés

Secret papers on famous artists including Gauguin, Renoir and Monet to be revealed

New York-based Wildenstein-Plattner Institute will digitise fabled Wildenstein archive of sale catalogues, letters and experts’ notes

Feature
Obituaries

The Getty Museum curator who hired the Rolling Stones for 15 shillings a head

Self-taught Gillian Wilson put together the 20th century’s best collection of French decorative arts

News
Venice

Governing body of St Mark’s basilica wants to build a Perspex anti-flood wall

Officials warn cathedral cannot take any more damage after the record-breaking floods that hit Venice in November

News
Openings

British architect David Adjaye to build a church, mosque and synagogue on a united site near the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The future House of Abrahamic religions in Abu Dhabi shows how the UAE differs from Saudi Arabia

Comment
Green Vault

Why the Dresden jewel heist wasn’t worth a billion, but why the Germans are still really upset

Thieves stole Baroque jewels from the Green Vault earlier this week after breaking in through a window

Comment
Venice

Italy should call in the Dutch to help finish the Venice flood barriers

Following years of corruption and issues with Italian administration, an independent expert is the best bet to rescue the city from peril

News
Art collection

The last of the great private Roman collections re-emerges

A 40-year struggle between Italy and the Torlonia family ends with major show in 2020

News
Politics

What is art for? Why, to help sell arms, silly!

October saw full deployment of culture in Russian and French political and commercial diplomacy with Saudi Arabia

News
Venice

Works of art in Venice museums and the Biennale undamaged by floods, but major attrition to buildings with great loss of private property

Most cultural institutions open to the public again today

News
Venice

Where are the flood barriers, cry the citizens of Venice after its second worst flood since records began

More evidence has emerged that the flood barriers have serious technical problems

News
Museums & Heritage

Goulandris collection of Modern masterworks finally revealed in new Athens museum

Dream museum of collectors Basil and Elise Goulandris brought to life almost three decades after original proposal

Interview
UK politics

'A democratic vote swayed by lies is not democracy'—Mary Beard on what antiquity can teach us about political spin

The recipient of the 2019 J. Paul Getty Medal discusses how understanding Cicero can help decipher the rise of populism

News
Sculpture

Jacob Rothschild fulfills a 50-year-old dream with two sculptures by a Greek Modernist

How two monumental figures by Niko Ghika looking out from Corfu were made

Comment
Venice

Don’t believe what you read in the papers: Venice won't lose its cruise ships any time soon

A lack of a long-term plan combined with the economic benefits brought by the luxury liners means a cruise ship ban will take long to implement

Interview
From the archive

In search of art out of Africa: an interview with Jean Pigozzi

“I feel that at the time of the Medici they had my kind of rapport with their artists”

Analysis
Climate Change

Venice has no official plan for how to deal with climate change

A new report by Icomos details how the science/culture divide is stopping world heritage coming to the aid of climate change and urges speedy action

News
Venice

Dramatic speech in Baku challenges Unesco’s support for damaging Venice cruise ship decision

The non-governmental organisation Europa Nostra recommends that the World Heritage Committee put the lagoon city on the endangered list

Comment
Venice

The Turkish shareholders in the port of Venice want to keep cruise ships coming—and the mayor supports them

The World Heritage Committee is meeting in Baku and intends to dodge declaring Venice endangered for the third time

News
Venice

Solid evidence that Venice's Mose mobile flood barriers have serious conservation faults

Repair work is estimated to take ten years, calling the operational date of 2021 into question

News
Art & Technology

Get the app and the church door will open to you

How often on our walks do we get to an enticing old church, only to find that it’s locked? Mobile phones provide the 'open sesame'

Analysis
Venice

Where does the cruise ship crash leave Venice?

The mayor demands that liners use other channels to enter the lagoon but this solution also poses problems

Review
Tbilisi Art Fair

Why the Tbilisi art fair should not be afraid of communist-period art

A successful second edition of the fair, with visits to houses and studios, and lots of collateral shows

News
Mona Lisa

Carlos Santana dreams of seeing the Mona Lisa naked: now he can

As the so-called “Nude Mona Lisa” goes on display at Chantilly, here’s the Mexican guitarist’s love song

Comment
Tbilisi Art Fair

Why I agreed to join the advisory board of the art fair in Georgia (no, not the southern US state)

It has art schools, tradition, a culturally rich catchment area, and a true-grit backer

Comment
Obituaries

What Jayne Wrightsman did when you criticised her style

Anna Somers Cocks recalls a telling episode in her relations with the Met’s benefactor, who died on 20 April

News
Cathedral of Notre Dame

Britain’s historic house owners pledge ancient trees for Notre Dame rebuilding

The cathedral’s roof, wholly destroyed in the fire, was built of some 1300 great trees

News
Prizes

Caravaggio in the flesh at The Art Newspaper Russia’s annual prize ceremony

Actors, musicians, dancers and a famous Moscow film director, combined with lighting wizardry, celebrate the Russian art world

News
Grimani

Grimani antiquities collection comes home to Venice palazzo after four centuries

Cardinal Grimani’s classical Greek and Roman sculptures—given to the Venetian Republic in 1587—will be reassembled in theatrical palace gallery

News
Unesco

Goodbye Venice, goodbye Ravenna, goodbye Ferrara, goodbye Carthage?

Many World Heritage Sites around the Mediterranean are at grave risk from sea-level rise by 2100, report says

News
London

How the UK has revived its Monuments Men

The CPPU consists of a solitary lieutenant-colonel, but he is recruiting

Comment
Art market

Will the UK be able to take part in antiquities busts after Brexit?

Nineteen of the accused in Operation Demetra face trial in December, while the alleged UK mastermind awaits extradition

Comment
Jamal Khashoggi

Do not penalise Saudi Arabian artists for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi

"There is great fear now within Saudi Arabia, with even stricter self-censorship than before"

Comment
Middle East

Why being a royal artist in the Gulf is a mixed blessing

Rashid Al Khalifa of Bahrain is showing his art in London’s Saatchi Gallery

News
Museums & Heritage

Top museum directors on the challenges of climate change and mass tourism

Vatican conference on preventive conservation warns of environmental impact of short-term politics

Comment
Ivory

The UK’s imminent law against the trade in ivory is a serious threat to liberties, says former Lord Chief Justice

Civilians will be allowed to enter your house, break open containers and use “reasonable force”

News
Art market

How two missing legs helped the restitution of an Italian secrétaire worth €2m

The Italian state has a permanent right to confiscate illegally exported work

Preview
Venice Glass Week

Venice rallies to save its ancient glass-blowing industry from Chinese competition

Venice Glass Week is a city-wide collaboration between museums, commercial galleries and artisans of Murano

News
Collectors

Found guilty in 1995 of embezzling investors’ money, Roberto Polo resurfaces in role of art benefactor in Spain

Toledo government hopes for “El Greco” effect from this 15-year loan of late 19th- and 20th-century works

News
Law

The UK’s ban on ivory sales will not protect the elephants

A spokesman for Traffic, the leading researchers of trade in endangered species, says it is the Asian market that drives the poaching, not the Western market

News
Antiquities & Archaeology

Man decapitated while fleeing volcano’s destruction of Pompeii

Excavation tells a poignant story of an unfortunate Roman

Analysis
Art fairs

Why the new Tbilisi Art Fair restores pleasure to buying art

It’s affordable, good quality, unspeculative—and the wine is great

Comment
Exhibitions

Is nothing sacred? The Metropolitan Museum should apologise to the Vatican for Heavenly Bodies show

Curator Andrew Bolton’s Costume Institute blockbuster is pointlessly offensive to believers

News
Comment

Why the French can sell arms and culture to Saudi Arabia, but the US and UK only arms

France's latest deal with the Kingdom reveals the close connection between culture and foreign affairs

News
Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

Vatican to take part in the Venice Architecture Biennale with ten chapels

Norman Foster is among the roster of international architects

Interview
Artist interview

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The desire for paradise

Emilia Kabakov discusses the duo’s past in the USSR and their aim to stop it defining how they are perceived as artists

Comment
300

'Issue one came out in less degraded times: more idealistic, less puffed up by PR machines'

Anna Somers Cocks, founding editor and chairman, looks back

Review
Books

The commercial rape of Venice is the result of a moral failing in the Italians

This is the view of a former Getty chief, who says the problems of the Serenissima are a paradigm for other historic cities

News
Art Dubai 2018

Resistance in multiple forms at Sharjah’s March Meeting

Minds from the Middle Eastern art world and beyond discussed topics such as urban planning and art and ecology

News
Art fairs

Brian and Anna Haughton, the dealers who put intellect into art fairs

Back in 1982, these ceramic specialists realised that top curators and hot research brought in the collectors. Today, they’re still keeping the flame of knowledge alive

Review
Books

Peter Wilson: The man who invented modern auctioneering

Buccaneering, brilliant, art-loving—he created the power of Sotheby’s (and Christie’s learned by imitation)

News

French art world shock at sacking of Bordeaux museum director

"We are stupefied"—50 art professionals sign open letter in defence of María Inés Rodríguez

Comment
Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia has roped an ancient city into his London charm offensive

The splendid Nabatean site of Mada’in Saleh may be opened to tourists

News
Openings

Crown Prince Mohammed adds art, Silicon Valley and movies to his Saudi reforms as Wahabi influence wanes

MoMa hosts announcement of his Misk Art Institute, led by artist Ahmed Mater

News
Exhibitions

Royal Academy of Arts tried to borrow $450m Salvator Mundi for its Charles I exhibition

New London show has received glowing reviews but there is one conspicuous absentee

Feature
Victoria & Albert Museum

A new era for heritage reproduction

Digital technologies are at the heart of a declaration by major museums and heritage organisations to record and sometimes reproduce works of art

Feature
Google

How Google became a major producer of cultural content

The Google Cultural Institute’s We Wear Culture fashion stories are its latest museum collaboration, its director Amit Sood tells us.

Comment

How Egypt is destroying Cairo and civil society

The pharaonic new museum will not make up for misguided policies

News
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince launches institute to promote art in the Middle East

Recently identified buyer of Leonardo's Salvator Mundi is planning a pavilion at the Venice Biennale, art teaching in schools, international exhibitions, archaeology and virtual reality

News
Leonardo da Vinci

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince revealed as buyer of $450m Leonardo and loan confirmed to Louvre Abu Dhabi

Gesture consolidates close political alliance between Saudi Arabia and the UAE

News
Venice

This is no way to solve the cruise ship issue in Venice

The Italian government’s latest decision is in hock to the port’s own interests

Comment
Funding

Culture is compromised by donations from the Sackler family: we must not accept any more of their money

Anna Somers Cocks on the revelations published in the New Yorker magazine