Catherine Hickley

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
Museums

Smithsonian and Berlin museums join forces to investigate Asian art provenance

The programme includes webinars examining dealers and collectors

News
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"

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
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

News
Books

German library buys 400-year-old album of drawings by European royalty for €2.8m

Art dealer Philipp Hainhofer's 16th-century "friendship book" contains inscriptions from Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II and Cosimo de’ Medici

News
coronavirus

CoroNation: Ai Weiwei releases lockdown documentary about Wuhan

Film aims to show “surveillance, ideological brainwashing, and brute determination used to control every aspect of society” by China’s leaders

Preview
Exhibitions

Condoms, clean needles and comedy take to the walls in HIV-Aids poster show

As the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, public campaigns around another virus are explored in an exhibition at the Folkwang Museum in Essen

News
Exhibitions

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer turns curator for Dusseldorf museum

Exhibition will recall the “intense and wonderful” 1990s fashion scene with photographs by Juergen Teller, Corinne Day and Karl Lagerfeld

Analysis
Looting

How recent anti-racism protests have pushed a longstanding debate about colonial looting in Europe

As the Black Lives Matter movement goes global, museums face renewed demands to restitute artefacts plundered from Africa

News
Exhibitions

Berghain—Berlin’s exclusive nightclub—to transform into huge art venue during pandemic

“Studio Berlin” offers a way to circumvent the toughest door policy in the world and see works by Olafur Eliasson, Wolfgang Tillmans and Anne Imhof

News
Acquisitions

Germany boosts art acquisition budget to €3m from €500,000 to support artists and galleries

Government plans to buy 150 works to help overcome the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic

News
Restitution

Turin museum pays settlement to Jewish heirs for Renaissance Madonna that was looted by Nazis

Family of Gustav Arens also receive French government compensation for a Tintoretto painting and a Dutch landscape

News
Curators

German curator kidnapped in Iraq is free again

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas voices “relief” at release of Hella Mewis, an arts manager living in Baghdad who works to promote young Iraqi artists

News
Curators

German curator kidnapped in central Baghdad

Hella Mewis, who works to promote young Iraqi artists, was abducted yesterday by unidentified men in the centre of the city

News
Art market

Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum seeks to recover ancient Egyptian jars before auction

The vessels, containing 2,600-year-old mummified internal organs, are due to be sold in Munich tomorrow

News
Restitution

France takes first legal step towards restitutions to Benin and Senegal as cabinet examines new law

Twenty-six objects looted from Abomey Palace to return to Benin, Omar Tall’s sword to be transferred to Senegal

News
Museums

More money, less hierarchy: Germany’s biggest arts employer faces major overhaul

Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, says he hopes the organisation will no longer exist in five years

News
Museums & Heritage

Germany's Holocaust memorial sites fight against surge in far-right threats

Former concentration camps are being increasingly drawn into culture wars by “normal-looking” people challenging guides and disrupting tours

News
Museums

Panel recommends dissolution of 'dysfunctional' Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

With 2,000 employees, the foundation is the biggest arts employer in Germany

News
Art market

Sotheby's to auction £4m restituted Bellotto painting that Jewish retail magnate was forced to sell to Hitler

The view of Dresden's Zwinger moat had been returned to the heirs of Max Emden and will now be offered for sale in London on 28 July

News
Exhibitions

Massive Monet cathedral painting to be installed in Rouen

The 360-degree work by the Iranian architect Yadegar Asisi will be displayed in a rotunda on the banks of the Seine

News
Museums

German government seeks to buy Hamburger Bahnhof museum from investor

Move means the venue can continue to operate as Berlin’s main contemporary art museum

News
Monuments

Riga installs six-metre statue to honour medical workers

Sculpture by Latvian artist Aigars Bikse is in a prominent spot in front of the National Museum of Art

News
Museums

Berlin’s Humboldt Forum to open this year despite pandemic delay

Exhibition of Berlin city history is to be among the first to open

News
Exhibitions

'Ultimate masterpiece': Van Eyck drawing— rarely seen due to fragility—goes on display for first time in a decade

Exhibited from today at Dresden’s Kupferstich-Kabinett, the picture of an old man is the only undisputed drawing by the Dutch Old Master that survives

News
Museums

'Time to give back the swag, guys!' British Museum unleashes Twitter storm with statement on Black Lives Matter

London institution was criticised for proclaiming that it "stands in solidarity with the Black community" while continuing to resist calls to restitute colonial-era loot

News
Repatriation

Digital Benin: a milestone on the long, slow journey to restitution

When British troops plundered the Royal Palace of Benin in the 19th century, at least 3,000 objects were dispersed internationally. A new online database is bringing them together

News
Art market

Berlin dealer Johann König stages impromptu 'fair' to coincide with original Art Basel dates in June

"People are hungry for art in the original and the online viewing room can’t replace the personal experience,” the dealer says

News
coronavirus

German government earmarks €1bn for arts in €130bn pandemic stimulus package

Package aims to counter “severest economic crisis in the history of the federal republic”

News
Antiquities & Archaeology

How Germany’s 4,000-year-old answer to Stonehenge shows that Brexit is 'nonsense'

Pömmelte, sacred site that was used by the ancient Unetice culture, is opening up to tourists

News
Art market

Code-cracking lot: Second World War Enigma machine on offer at Vienna’s Dorotheum

The Germans believed Enigma was uncrackable; cryptographers at Bletchley Park broke the code, contributing to the Allies’ victory

News
Public art

Sculpture confronting Germany's colonial past installed at Berlin’s long-awaited Humboldt Forum

Kang Sunkoo’s bronze Statue of Limitations shows a black flag at half-mast

News
coronavirus

Austrian culture minister steps down after coming under fire over pandemic response

Ulrike Lunacek was in office for less than four months

News
Berlin

As one private collector shuts down Berlin space, Julia Stoschek threatens to follow

Closure of Thomas Olbricht’s Me Collectors Room comes after collector Friedrich Christian Flick’s announcement he is ending his museum loan