Catherine Hickley

News
Restitution

German Nazi loot panel rejects heirs' claim for Lovis Corinth portrait, keeping it in Berlin’s Stadtmuseum

The commission said the work's history touches four families who had been “oppressed, robbed, deported, driven to flee or murdered”

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Unesco World Heritage Site

Liverpool loses Unesco world heritage status—'really disappointed' mayor plans appeal

Committee finds that construction projects have reduced cultural value

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Obituaries

Dealer Inge Baecker, a pioneer of the Fluxus movement, dies in German floods

The gallerist was ill at home in Bad Münstereifel, one of the worst-hit towns

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Disasters & destruction

German floods damage archives, soaking historic documents in mud

A team from the Cologne City Archive has sent emergency aid to Stolberg

News
Humboldt Forum

Humboldt Forum opens in Berlin—finally for real

After almost two years of delays, the ambitious museum complex launches its first in-person exhibitions

News
Documenta

Documenta 15 to go ahead as planned in 2022 despite pandemic hurdles

After weighing postponement, the Kassel exhibition’s shareholders say decision to stick to timetable was “not easy”

Preview
Exhibitions

The best art day trips you can take from Berlin, London and New York

From crumbling castles to beach huts and giant chalk drawings on the English coast, there's no need for PCR tests if you live near these local gems

News
Restitution

France returns Pechstein painting looted in occupied Paris to heirs of Hugo Simon, a banker and leading figure in German cultural life

An exhibition at the Pompidou in Paris is currently paying tribute to the Jewish collector

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Conservation & Preservation

Ageing plastic from Communist East Germany comes under the microscope in Getty research project

Scientists will study how Soviet-era household objects "made to last 30 or 40 years" can be preserved

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Benin Bronzes

Berlin museums board agrees to relinquish Benin bronzes 'regardless of how they were acquired'

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation aims for the first restitutions to Nigeria next year, requests “detailed timetable” for negotiations

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Heritage

East German palaces and castles to get €400m for renovation

Move addresses "investment backlog" for upgrades to cultural sites in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia

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Art market

Chinese gold sculpture breaks German auction record at €14m—almost triple the previous high

A Chinese collector bought the 15th century gold and bronze Ming-dynasty sculpture of the god Vajrabhairava earlier today

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Restitution

'There has been a generational shift': Belgian government to collaborate with Democratic Republic of Congo to return colonial-era loot

Bilateral accord to include projects to conserve, research, and store restituted items

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Art market

Sotheby's launches sales in Germany—against stiff competition from local auction houses

The opulent Palais Oppenheim in Cologne will host exhibitions and sales from September. Sotheby's says move is due to growing client base in country, not Brexit

News
Stolen art

Interpol launches app to identify stolen art—and it has already been used to discover loot

Spanish police say they used the ID-art programme to successfully spot stolen Roman coins worth €200,000

News
Art market

Bonhams consignor withdraws looted Nepalese sculptures from auction

The five figures of Hindu gods once adorned a gilded temple gateway in a Unesco world heritage site

News
Restitution

Belgian experts frustrated at 'lack of initiative from museums and government' call for restitution of colonial-era acquisitions

New report provides guidelines for the return of artefacts to Africa, where Belgium controlled territory that was 80 times its size

Preview
Exhibitions

Sky’s the limit: how Bronze Age people travelled and traded much further afield than commonly thought

The Nebra Sky disc, the oldest surviving representation of the cosmos, will be one of the star artefacts in an exhibition exploring Unětice culture and its far reaching links

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Discoveries

Eerily life-like marble skull—hidden in plain sight in a German castle—was made by Bernini for the Pope, research reveals

Sculpture is now on show at the Semperbau in Dresden

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Funding

Germany pledges €2.5bn in aid for cultural events

The funding, available for small events from 1 July, will also include cancellation insurance for large events planned from September

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Museums & Heritage

Germany launches African museum exchange programme to discuss returning looted objects

New government initiative MuseumsLab aims to foster more international co-operation and consider topics including decolonisation and restitution

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Museums

Calling all numismatists! Biggest coin database in German-speaking world to go live today

The new resource provides images and data on 90,000 coins

News
Museums

German museums to receive up to €25,000 for research into their Benin bronzes ahead of restitutions next year

Grants are available for institutions with individual Benin artefacts or small collections

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Restitution

Germany pledges to return Benin bronzes to Nigeria starting in 2022

“We are facing up to our historical and moral responsibility”, says culture minister Monika Grütters

News
Benin Bronzes

Global survey: where in the world are the Benin bronzes?

Around 160 institutions hold looted Benin artefacts, but how many are prepared to give them back? We asked museums in five countries for their position on restitution

News
Restitution

'We've had a lot of museums reaching out': how Nigeria is getting ready to receive the world’s Benin bronzes

With institutions across the globe rethinking their views on restitution, the African country’s focus is now on making a home for its heritage

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Covid-19

Museums weigh in on the vaccine passport debate, as countries are under pressure to open up their economies

As Israel and Denmark introduce Covid-19 status certificates, institutions are concerned that government schemes may keep visitors away

Preview
Exhibitions

Rocket man: Uli Sigg on how he began collecting art while working in North Korea

“There will be some protests,” predicts the Swiss collector ahead of a Kunstmuseum Bern show of works from both sides of the Korean border

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Germany

German parliament’s “emergency brake” closes Kusama show, threatens Gallery Weekend

Measures to counter the third wave of the pandemic force museums in high-incidence areas to close

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Restitution

Sotheby's to sell $2m Meissen porcelain collection restituted by Dutch government to heirs of Jewish industrialist

The collection of 18th-century porcelain was previously exhibited in Dutch museums

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Restitution

Dutch museum settles with Jewish businessman's heirs on painting sold in Nazi era, defying government panel

The agreement overturns the Restitution Committee's 2013 rejection of the claim, which argued the painting was worth more to the museum than the heirs

News
Restitution

UCLA’s Fowler Museum to reach out to Nigeria about returning its Benin bronzes

As restitution momentum builds, director of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art says it could lead discussions for the return of looted Benin objects in US museum collections

Interview
Exhibitions

Humboldt Forum to show Britain’s 1897 violence and plunder in Benin exhibition next year

The exhibition will include around half of Berlin’s collection of Benin bronzes as Germany lays groundwork to return them to Nigeria

News
Restitution

German Nazi-looted art panel recommends return of Franz Marc’s Foxes to heirs of Jewish banker

The decision on whether to return the painting, which hangs in Dusseldorf’s Kunstpalast, will be made by the city assembly in April

Podcast

Benin bronzes: looted treasures will return to Nigeria at last

Plus, the newly discovered Van Gogh is sold and artist Rana Begum on Tess Jaray

News
Restitution

German culture minister seeks 'national strategy' on Benin bronzes, including restitution

Monika Grütters says she will meet museum directors and trustees next month

News
Benin Bronzes

University of Aberdeen to return Benin bronze looted by British troops to Nigeria

The sculpture of an oba’s head was “acquired in a way that we now consider to have been extremely immoral,” the university says

News
Restitution

‘The movement is unstoppable’: African scholars and activists hail German plan to return Benin bronzes

“There is simply no moral ground for the confiscation of African artefacts in Western museums,” says the Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe

Preview
Exhibitions

Birthday Beuys: Stuttgart kicks off Joseph Beuys centenary events and exhibitions

Exhibition at Staatsgalerie revisits the artist's curated opening of the museum's new building, while 20 other institutions are planning shows on the artist

News
Restitution

Germany moves towards full restitution of Benin bronzes

The head of the German foreign ministry’s culture department visited Nigeria last week for discussions with the Edo State Governor

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Museums

Museums in Poland and Germany forced to close—again—as third pandemic wave hits Europe

Some countries are operating a system based on regional coronavirus case numbers while others have gone into full lockdown

News
Museums

Gerhard Richter to loan Holocaust works—that he vowed never to sell—to new Berlin museum

Loan of over 100 works to future museum of Modern art encompasses Richter’s Birkenau series, the fruit of a decades-long quest for an artistic response to the Holocaust

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Art market

Berlin dealer Johann König opens new space in Seoul

Opening next month, the new space will include a sculpture garden on a roof terrace

News
Restitution

Forging ahead with historic restitution plans, Dutch museums will launch €4.5m project to develop a practical guide on colonial collections

Researchers will consider “various modes of return” for museum objects and how the process can help to reconcile with colonial past

News
Obituaries

Paul Klee’s grandson Alexander Klee, artist and arts patron, dies aged 80

Bern's Zentrum Paul Klee will devote an exhibition to the artist this summer

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Art market

Sotheby’s to auction Karl Lagerfeld’s collection in Monaco

The fashion designer, who died in 2019, was an enthusiastic collector of art and design

News
Museums

'It feels slightly surreal!' German museums can open from Monday—but with complicated caveats

In a surprise ruling, the government prioritises museum openings ahead of restaurants and sports facilities

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Museums & Heritage

Swiss museums can reopen from 1 March as country eases lockdown restrictions

Fondation Beyeler will shows Arp and Rodin while Kunstmuseum Bern has a show on Latin American political art

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Heritage

Bavarian frescoes are confirmed to be among the oldest in northern Europe

New examinations of John the Baptist wall paintings in Augsburg cathedral date them to more than 1,000 years ago

News
Porcelain

'Rarest' royal Chinese porcelain bowl—at least 900 years old—discovered in Dresden state collection

It is the 88th known surviving piece of Ru ceramic, one of which sold for $37.7m at Sotheby's in 2017

News
Restitution

German Nazi loot panel urges return of Schiele work at Museum Ludwig to Jewish dentist’s heirs

In a unanimous decision, the government’s advisory commission says it is likely the work was sold under duress

News
Restitution

Germany proposes law change to ease Nazi-loot returns from private foundations

Law change follows refusal by some foundations to restitute property lost due to Nazi persecution

News
Germany

Germany doubles pandemic aid for arts with an extra €1 billion funding

Some galleries received funding in the first package for exhibitions they can’t open in lockdown

News
Restitution

Netherlands takes lead in Europe’s efforts to return artefacts to former colonies

The Dutch government adopts a committee’s “radical” guidelines, putting it at the forefront of European efforts to return colonial-era museum acquisitions

News
Imports and Exports

Roman bust seized in Germany after confusion around import laws for artefacts in transit

The bronze was taken because German law requires archaeological objects have export licences from the country of origin—but it was only travelling through to Austria from the US

News
Restitution

German panel urges restitution of a Heckel painting to the heirs of a Jewish journalist persecuted by the Nazis

Heirs plan to donate the work to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

News
Holocaust

Babyn Yar: site where 100,000 victims were shot by Nazis to get one of world’s largest Holocaust memorial centres

“We do not want to create a big building that sits heavily” on this sensitive ground, says Robert Jan Van Pelt, one of the minds behind the project in Ukraine

News
Nazi loot

An arms dealer casts a shadow over Kunsthaus Zurich

Petition calls for more transparency in planned display of the collection of Emil Georg Bührle, who bought Nazi-looted art with a fortune built on weapons

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coronavirus

Culture injection: Coronavirus vaccination centres in Germany are giving patients a dose of art

As exhibitions are cancelled due to the pandemic, local artists are finding creative ways to show their art—and distract patients

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Catalogue raisonné

First online Max Beckmann catalogue raisonné to go live tomorrow as artist's work enters public domain

Hamburg’s Kunsthalle to publish photographs of 843 paintings for free research tool

News
Restitution

Spitzweg drawing from Gurlitt hoard returned to Jewish publisher’s heirs

The musical scene was seized by the Gestapo in 1939 from Henri Hinrichsen, who died at Auschwitz

News
Documenta

Documenta 15 postponement increasingly likely, general director says

Travel restrictions could derail preparations, making 2022 date impossible, Sabine Schormann says

Feature
Book Club

The Nazi art dealer who supplied Hermann Göring and operated in a shadowy art underworld after the war

A new book by Jonathan Petropoulos explores Bruno Lohse’s devotion to Hitler’s number two

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Restitution

Dresden poster campaign draws attention to looted Benin bronzes in city’s museum

Initiative by the Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh is supported by Dresden’s state museums

News
Art market

In the battle against antiquities trafficking, Germany develops app to identify looted cultural heritage

Government-funded image-recognition software will enable law enforcers to work with international organisations

Interview
Art market

A crisis hits the art market once a decade. What is different this time? Christie's president Dirk Boll assesses the impact of the pandemic

As his new book is published, the auction house chief compares coronavirus fallout to previous economic disasters

News
Art market

European auction houses weather crisis as customers spend millions on art online

Expecting the worst, French, German and Austrian auction houses have been surprised by how well sales have held up through the pandemic

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Architecture

Berlin’s residents rally to save city’s Brutalist building that was once a laboratory for animal experiments

Thousands signed petition to protect bleak concrete structure—nicknamed the Mouse Bunker—from demolition

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Restitution

Amsterdam court rejects heirs’ claim for Kandinsky painting in the Stedelijk Museum

Ruling upholds controversial decision by the beleaguered Dutch Restitutions Committee but counters an independent review

News
Humboldt Forum

What exactly is the Humboldt Forum?

From the building, to the name and the cost, we bring you the Berlin art complex in a nutshell

News
Humboldt Forum

Humboldt Forum: the empire strikes back­?

The imperial origins and plundered artefacts of the Berlin art complex seem out of place in today’s Germany

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Museums

Kunsthaus Zurich counts down to ‘quantum leap’ for Swiss art scene after Chipperfield expansion

City hopes the $230m new building will raise its profile as an art destination to match Basel

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Museums

Smithsonian and Berlin museums join forces to investigate Asian art provenance

The programme includes webinars examining dealers and collectors

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Nazi loot

Dutch policy on Nazi-looted art should be more humane and transparent, panel finds

The government's treatment of claims for art plundered by Nazis has come under fire for placing interests of museums over "legal redress for injustice"

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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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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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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

News
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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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

News
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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Heritage

Unexploded bombs: the major hitch in this German castle's restoration

Gardens of the Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam must be probed for undetonated explosives before further renovations can take place

News
Museums

German museum chiefs say enforced November closure is 'wrong decision'

More than 40 directors sign an open letter to regional governments saying museums should not be included in month-long coronavirus lockdown

News
Museums

Louvre and French museums close, while German museums await clarity in second coronavirus lockdown

Closing German museums would be “a hard blow for the institutions and society,” the country's museums association says

News
Johannes Vermeer

Blockbuster Vermeer exhibition—including restored 'hidden Cupid' painting—announced at Dresden's Semperbau

The show promises to be “one of the most spectacular” in the newly renovated museum's history

News
Museums

Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie to open after six-year renovation with Calder exhibition

Mies van der Rohe’s steel-and-glass building is undergoing modernisation by David Chipperfield, including new air-conditioning, security, lighting and visitor facilities

News
Museums

Mondrian’s heirs file US suit to recover four paintings worth $200m from a German museum

The complaint also demands compensation for four further works by Mondrian no longer at the Krefeld museum

News
Museums

Attacker sprays oil in Berlin museums, damaging sarcophagi, sculptures and frames

Sixty-three objects were sprayed with an oily liquid on 3 October at the Pergamon, Neues Museum and Alte Nationalgalerie

News
German Museums

Germany to create central digital platform for museum objects acquired in colonial context

Measures agreed by government and states include a set of common standards for digital registers

News
Restitution

Nazi-looted Dutch Old Master to be auctioned in settlement between heir and current holder

The Golden Age work by Aelbert Cuyp was looted from Jacques Goudstikker and acquired by Hermann Göring

News
Art education

European academies issue joint manifesto to protect freedom of arts

Signatories of the “Berlin Manifesto” include the Académie française and Arts Council England. It has been endorsed by Wim Wenders, Ken Loach and A. L. Kennedy among others

Preview
Exhibitions

Easy rider: when Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter went on tour

The artists' collaboration—first as teacher and student, then as a couple—is explored in a new exhibition at the Lenbachhaus in Munich

News
Restitution

Dutch government committee recommends return of colonial-era artefacts

The report calls for a new panel to advise the minister on repatriations and a new provenance research centre

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Art market

Deutsche Bank to auction Kandinsky and Schiele works from collection

Three works are to be sold at Christie’s in Paris this month; further sales to follow

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Museums

Berlin’s Humboldt Forum to open in phases beginning in December

Plans include a show about ivory and a “critical approach” to colonial legacies

News
Discoveries

Sculpture by Arno Breker—one of Hitler’s favourite artists—found buried in Berlin museum garden

Missing for 75 years, the large marble head, one of the artist's best-known works, was uncovered by chance during construction work at Kunsthaus Dahlem

News
Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

Meet the man overhauling Berlin's 'dysfunctional' museums in wake of bombshell report

Head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger, responds to an expert panel’s call to dismantle Germany’s biggest arts body

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Obituaries

Erich Marx, Berlin collector and patron, dies age 99

His collection of works by Warhol, Twombly, Beuys and Kiefer is on long-term loan to the Berlin museums

News
Contemporary art

Berlin Art Week: shows in disused airports and nightclubs defy gloomy predictions

From Berghain's lockdown exhibition to the Brücke Museum's Vivian Suter display, here's what to see in the reigning contemporary art hub this week

News
Restitution

Berlin returns tattooed Maori heads to New Zealand

Human remains in museums have attracted widespread criticism