Vincent Noce

Politicsanalysis

French elections: what's at stake for culture and the arts?

As Macron and Le Pen face off in the second round of the presidential battle, cultural policy is likely to continue taking a back seat

Loansnews

France seeks to protect Russia's Morozov collection from seizure as masterpieces return home

Works were on loan to a blockbuster exhibition at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris

Louvre suspends sale of Chardin's record-breaking strawberries

The French museum is now seeking funds to buy the still-life painting, which was sold last week by Artcurial to a US dealer for €24.3m

French museums survived a drastic fall in tourism but may face uphill struggle as state support dries up

France’s status as a honeypot for tourists from Asia and the US has taken a huge hit, from which its cultural institutions are still reeling. Now the country’s museums hope that French and European visitors can restore their finances

Dealer suspected of selling looted antiquities to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Louvre Abu Dhabi detained in Paris

The Hamburg-based dealer Roben Dib was arrested in Paris last week. His lawyers say he will "fully cooperate with the investigation"

Restitutionanalysis

Why Macron's radical promise to return African treasures has stalled

Four years after a landmark pledge to hand back colonial loot, French government has opposed a new restitution bill backed by the Senate

Louvre hosts major international conference to fight trafficking of cultural goods

Meeting, organised by France, aims to define new proposals to be adopted by the European Commission

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts settles dispute with its former director

Nathalie Bondil, who was fired in 2020, was seeking $1.5m in moral and punitive damages from the museum’s board

Louvre's attendance last year dropped to 1986 levels

Covid continued to impact on French museum visits, but the government provided a much-needed financial safety net

Macron's Gulf tour: UAE's Louvre Abu Dhabi contract extended to 2047 and more French-Saudi culture deals

Renewal of Abu Dhabi deal means the Louvre can partner with the network of museums planned for Saudi Arabia's AlUla region

Cy Twombly Foundation pulls lawsuit after Louvre agrees to rework renovation of gallery that bears artist's ceiling

The foundation said earlier this year that the “aggressive colours“ covering the walls “violated the harmonies“ of Twombly’s pale blue canopy

The Netherlands looks set to buy Rembrandt’s €165m 'Standard Bearer'

Owned by the Rothschild family, the vibrant painting is on the open market after France was unable to raise the funds to buy the national treasure

Catholic church's proposed redesign of Notre Dame interior provokes outrage

Plans to revamp the fire-ravaged cathedral with contemporary art and multilingual projections of Bible quotes have been compared to Disneyland

'Taliban-like minority working to undermine the Western world': uproar after French Academy in Rome moves to remove tapestries linked to colonialism

After a media campaign, French art historians and scholars sign a petition accusing the Villa Medici of "cancelling culture"

Al-Ulanews

Unesco strikes partnership deal with Saudi agency to develop AlUla region's rich heritage

Agreement covers developing archaeological programmes and paves the way for kingdom's ambitious long-term plans to attract tourists to the region

Museums face pressure to explain presence of Cambodian relics linked to disgraced dealer Douglas Latchford

Expert says there is a "long list of returns expected from museums", as Cambodia cites new evidence of war-time looting

Beninnews

Benin pushes for 'full restitution' as 26 looted objects destined to return to the country go on show at the Quai Branly in Paris

A farewell exhibition, due to be visited by French President Emmanuel Macron this week, is being hosted at the French museum. But the West African nation is "not satisfied" with the partial restitution

France launches Islamic art shows across 18 cities to combat rising Islamophobia

The Louvre-led government initiative aims to shatter clichés and encourage a deeper understanding

Genevan court dismisses Dimitry Rybolovev's case against art dealer Yves Bouvier—but feud between the two billionaires is not over yet

Russian art collector had sued for double dealing and will now appeal decision, while Bouvier plans to launch $1bn countersuit for damages—and write a tell-all book

Emma Lavigne named chief executive officer of the Pinault Collection

Former head of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris replaces Jean-Jacques Aillagon

'Unafraid of upsetting the applecart': leading Rembrandt scholar Ernst van de Wetering has died, aged 83

The Dutch art historian, who worked on the Rembrandt Research Project for 47 years, made radical changes to the study of the Old Master painter

Director of slavery memorial in Guadeloupe sacked after reporting €420,000 missing from museum’s budget

Laurella Yssap-Rincon had promised to “correct the mismanagement” of the culture centre when she took the position in 2019

French museums face fresh legal action over refusal to restitute works to Jewish families

Collection of the lawyer and collector Armand Isaac Dorville was sold after his death in an estate sale that the state argues was not forced

Laurence des Cars will be the first woman to lead the Louvre in its history

A seasoned director with an emphasis on the social role of museums, she replaces Jean-Luc Martinez as the Louvre's president-director on 1 September

Openingsreview

After 21 years and $194m: Pinault opens Bourse museum in Paris

The French billionaire's long awaited contemporary art space contains works that champion his values of diversity—though many of these have been shown in Venice before

AlUlanews

'A global destination for heritage, culture and nature': Saudi Arabia unveils $15bn AlUla masterplan

Kingdoms Institute, a new "world class" study centre, is among 15 cultural facilities that will form part of the heritage-rich region's transformation

Nathalie Bondil, ousted head of Montreal museum, joins Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris

Her first task at the French institution will be to expand its international programming and partnerships

'Cranach' painting of Venus at centre of Old Masters fakes scandal must be returned to Prince of Liechtenstein, court rules

Seized as part of a forgery investigation, the work has been fully studied and must no longer be kept as evidence

Not a Leonardo! Clue to wax bust’s attribution lies inside a sperm whale

New scientific report confirms that wax bust of the goddess Flora—bought by the eminent museum director Wilhelm Bode—dates to after the Renaissance

'It could have been much worse': the current state of play of Notre Dame's restoration, two years after the fire

Philippe Villeneuve, the lead architect of the cathedral, is confident the Parisian landmark will reopen for the Olympic Games in 2024