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Diary of an art historian

'The art in Spain stays mainly off the plane': grim Brexit news from the art buying frontline

I've learned the new politically motivated lessons about art shipping the hard way—so you don't have to

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Museums & Heritage

The cancelling of the Genoese art loan show Superb Baroque is a sad day for the National Gallery in Washington, DC

Can another museum with a commitment to broaden Americans’ exposure to great art, including pre-contemporary works, take up the show?

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Art market

Women in the arts are winning the battle for equal employment—but they haven’t yet won the war

The latest UBS Art Basel report finds that top jobs are finally going to women—even at the mega galleries

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Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021

Against all the odds, the UK’s museums are beacons of inspiration

Museum of the Year 2021 celebrates the sector’s triumphs in the face of adversity, says Jenny Waldman, Art Fund director and jury chair for the £100,000 prize

In partnership withArt Fund

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Art market

Choose your unicorn: why angel investors are ploughing millions into art startups

Tech-led art businesses are starting to attract venture capitalist funding, with the NFT platform MakersPlace recently gaining $30m investment

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Statues

Destroying public symbols of the past will not lead to a juster society. We must keep our mistakes visible

Our monuments should be radically relabelled or repurposed to better represent who we are today, says former British Museum director Neil MacGregor

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Art market

Not all they seem: how galleries can spot fake ID documents

From face-matching software to watching out for shifty behaviour, here is how you can protect yourself from fraudsters attempting to buy art under a false identity

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Afghanistan

Protocols are already available to help save Afghanistan’s cultural heritage

In 2015, the Association of Art Museum Directors established a structure under which museums can act to protect cultural property in immanent peril

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Art market

Overseas galleries and art advisors listen up: you are not immune to new money laundering laws at UK fairs this autumn

Those exhibiting and doing business at events in the country now have to abide by the same, stricter rules as British businesses

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Heritage

With the Taliban’s take-over of Afghanistan, intangible cultural heritage is most at threat

The music, poetry, traditions and crafts that are kept alive by communities are especially vulnerable under the group’s ultra-conservative rule

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Biennials & festivals

Helsinki’s inaugural biennial goes off with a bang on the former military island of Vallisaari

The layered history and uncertain future of a small island in the Finnish archipelago is used as a microcosm for the world via site specific works by 41 artists

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Arts funding

UK arts sector must learn to fight smart and dirty to get what it wants from the government

The fishing industry is worth far less than the £100bn creative industries but is given greater political importance—it's time to ask ourselves why

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Deaccessioning

Amid financial adversity, can a museum association emerge as an innovative leader on deaccessioning?

Association of Art Museum Directors should permanently recognise “direct care” of collections as a proper use of art sale proceeds

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Art market

Why the art market must stop trying to predict the unpredictable and enjoy a well deserved #hotgirlsummer

Life is still uncertain but we know the industry can keep functioning against all odds through the pandemic, so enjoy the sun and save the questions for the autumn

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US politics

Under the Biden administration, can US cultural policy better reflect American values?

Building relationships with all stakeholders—from dealers and collectors to museums and archaeologists—is vital

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Architecture

Liverpool should not be punished for its modern vision

The UK city has been stripped of its World Heritage status. Walter Aubrey Thomas, who designed some of its most famous buildings, would have objected, says his great-grandson

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Venice

The IPCC’s predictions of sea-level rise are why Italy should beg Unesco to put Venice on its at risk list

It would support the difficult measures the government will have to enact to save Venice from certain death. But Unesco is toothless

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Venice

Now is the time for Unesco to call Venice's authorities to order

For decades, short-termism and conflicting interests have prevented a sustainable plan for Venice from being developed or enacted

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Diary of an art historian

Visiting a historic house should be about more than just cream teas and crocuses—their full histories, however unsettling, should be told

Being told about National Trust houses' connections to slavery should not deter visitors: the complex history adds to their interest

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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

A redesign of the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden prompts questions about artistic vision

As Hiroshi Sugimoto’s revitilisation project comes up for review this month, it is important to understand the symbiosis of the whole museum campus

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Museums & Heritage

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s new Hirshhorn sculpture garden will create a more open and artistically inspired future for the museum

The artist’s designs for the sunken sculpture park creating a more inviting space for visitors coming from the National Mall

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Museums & Heritage

We tackled Dutch slaving history—the Rijksmuseum's exhibition could serve as a model of its kind

The Netherlands needs to collectively examine how its past has shaped today's society, says the director of the Amsterdam museum

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Art market

Livestreamed or IRL, gallery weekends or satellite spaces—the art market faces a paradox of choice

Thanks to the pandemic, we have many alternative ways to buy, sell and enjoy art, and now this genie is out of the bottle, we don’t want to put it back

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Exhibitions

Why some people still care passionately whether St Jerome was Italian or Croatian (he was neither, actually)

An exhibition in Split shows that being 1,600 years old does not take you out of politics

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Museums

One of us or one of them? A long view of the appointment of George Osborne as chair of the British Museum

The former chancellor's instalment echoes the selection of Lord Armstrong as chair of the V&A, which had serious consequences for the museum

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Art Market Eye

Why the figures bandied about in the art market are subject to caution

Estimates of the potential size of the art market are way off the mark

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Letters

Letters to the editor | Donna Stein’s book about the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is ‘misleading’ and has ‘inaccuracies’

Readers respond to an article about a new publication detailing the founding of the Iranian museum

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Prizes

What's the point of art prizes?

The trend for awards to be shared among all the shortlisted artists reflects the current political climate, but it might be time to do away with them all together

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Venice

The damnation of Venice: locals are being systematically driven out by officials who are selling off sites for tourism

Venetians are leaving the city in thousands because rents are unaffordable, yet over 11% of social housing stands empty

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Funding

Hackneyed old Hockney: Museums need to be courageous, even in survival mode

This is the moment to ask for fresh ideas and give space to artists more deserving of exposure—so why has the Royal Academy given its main galleries to iPad 'paintings'?

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Diary of an art historian

The UK Ministry of Culture is where politicians' careers go to die—but Oliver Dowden has emerged victorious, thanks to the culture wars

The future integrity of the arts sector will depend on whether institutions are able to stand up to the next culture secretary

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Art market

Jobs for the boys…why I'm starting to feel old amid the new art world order

The thrusting land of NFTs and tech nomads favours the young—and has yet to shake off the old ties of nepotism

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UK politics

Don’t trash talk museums at this perilous time: we must adapt—not throw away—our cultural heritage

Cultural institutions—like religious buildings—can be spaces of good and harm, we cannot simply denounce their histories as one or the other, says museum director Nicholas Thomas

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Art market

Inflation is soaring in the US and UK—here's what it means for the art market

When prices rise, investors often buy art to lower risk and increase returns. But the market's buoyancy may be short-lived, as experience tells us

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Art market

Will gallery weekends replace art fairs?

There are advantages to staying local in a post-pandemic world

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Diary of an art historian

It took 300 years for the art world to recognise Artemisia Gentileschi—now NFTs are reinforcing the bias towards Western male artists

The latest digital craze will only reinforce the structural sexism inherent in the history of art

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Salvator Mundi

Is Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci? Amid the current flurry of ill-informed controversies, let us turn to the science

Can the leaked Louvre book give us the final word on the much-maligned painting that we all need?

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Venice

Has Venice really banned cruise ships? It appears not

The Italian government must intervene against powerful forces opposed to change

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Art Market Eye

How a new digital art market could mimic the traditional one—including in bad ways

The new breed of art buyers are likely to need administrators, curators and lawyers much like those in the conventional art world

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African art market

Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu’s greatest work is much loved by the art market—but it should mean more to art history too

Editions of the Anyanwu sculpture always attract attention at auction, but the legacy of the work and its maker are largely ignored both in his home country and the international art scene

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M+

Why culture is key to Hong Kong’s future as a world city

As M+ gets ready to open its doors later this year, the museum's board chairman Victor Lo explains its bold concept

Paid for byM+

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Museums & Heritage

Why we are projecting First Nations art on the Sydney Opera House

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are front and centre in the Art Gallery of New South Wales's expansion plans, writes museum director Michael Brand

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Looted art

Is there loot lurking in your collection? Find out—before someone else does

Do your research and and check whether you unwittingly own stolen works, otherwise it could tarnish your reputation

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Cuba

A feeble congress and the raising up of poetry in Cuba

While the Eighth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party ignored the needs of the people, the activist group 27N published a manifesto encapsulating their aims for the future

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Art market

In our current dystopian art market, the pervasive and persistent Damien Hirst may well have the last laugh

The British artist has had a bumpy boom and boost history when it comes to sales, but his ubiquitous brand makes him a safer bet in uncertain times

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NFTs

NFTs and the 'Art' world: panic and possibility

The technology must become more diverse, says Ruth Catlow, the co-founder of Furtherfield

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Diary of an art historian

Boo to NFTs! Hang on, think of no customs fees

As Brexit makes buying anything from Europe almost impossible, purchasing questionable digital art is almost tempting

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Art fairs

The world of art fairs is going to change for good—and only the better-funded fairs will survive

From hybrid online ventures to new subscription models, mass events in the art world won't look the same post-pandemic

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Art Market Eye

How the art market turned upside down—in one month

Banksy, NFTs and Sacha Jafri et al are ripping up the rulebook

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Museums

How museums can ethically invest their money

There are plenty of funds with good Environmental, Social and Governance ratings, and the financial returns often outperform the S&P 500

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Art market

EU proposes tough new laws on antique ivory trade—despite lack of evidence it leads to modern-day poaching

Proposal appears to contradict European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's assertion that any new restrictions must be proportional and "evidence based"

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Myanmar

Here is what you can do to help Myanmar's beleaguered artists

The situation in the country right now is 'nothing short of dark and desolate', says Nathalie Johnston who runs an art centre in Yangon

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Art market

The art market is 'high risk' for money laundering, so ignore new regulations at your peril

The UK government may make examples of galleries, advisors and auction houses found failing to comply to new laws, so prepare your business with these steps

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Benin Bronzes

Britain stole the royal, sacred Benin Bronzes from Nigeria—so why is Germany leading their return?

Germany's plans to return the artefacts are just the beginning of a necessary undoing of the art world's white infrastructure

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NFTs

The looming legal and regulatory questions NFT collectors and sellers should prepare for

An expert in anti-money laundering laws shares her thoughts on the booming digital art marketplace

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Art market

The 'Ledbury Titian' discovery begs the question: who should we trust when it comes to art attribution?

We often overlook gaps in provenance, or disagreement between experts, simply because we want to believe in fairytales

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Museums & Heritage

Pandemic anniversary: the things museums should learn from our plague year

Although “thumbstoppable” social media content is essential, the online world has dark consequences too, says Tristram Hunt, the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum

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Freelance workers are the backbone of the art world—but how are they expected to survive on a pittance?

If culture is to recover from the pandemic, the sector must value the self-employed more so that the next generation—of all backgrounds—can afford to live a creative life

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Art market

Six reasons why Gamestop couldn’t happen in the art market

From lack of supply to prohibitive price points, it seems you can't short art... at least for now

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Diary of an art historian

'Autism made me an art historian. But museums must do more to welcome disabled and neurodiverse communities'

Museums were quick to implement Covid-19 safety measures and now they need to apply that same rigour to improving accessibility

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United Kingdom

'Where is the champion within UK government for a vigorous, independent visual arts sector?'

The culture sector is being relegated to the ranks of "indoor entertainment"

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NFTs

The NFT craze encapsulates the absurdity of the art world—and its obsession with authenticity

Why would someone buy a non-fungible token of a rainbow-toting cat, which already exists in millions of identical copies?

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Art market

Risky business: how new US sanctions regulations will actually impact the art market

The US government has the 'regulatory vacuum' in its sights—here is a guide to who will be affected and how

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Diary of an art historian

Museums have hastily cut their staff to save money—what will happen when visitors return and they need them back?

With vaccines now being deployed and a return to normality on the horizon, institutions may find they have been shortsighted in letting their employees go

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Art market

Sotheby's brought to you by Bulgari—product placement at auction has arrived, with limitless potential

Yesterday's auction saw auctioneer plugging the brand while wearing one of its watches. What might we see next—Edvard Munch sponsored by Bollinger?

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Arts funding

Arts researchers can help America overcome its toughest challenges

As the Biden-Harris administration begins to fill its leadership roles, it is vital that our federal government includes creative thinkers

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Botticelli

'Looking just gorgeous': Granddaughter of $80m Botticelli's former owner on living with the masterpiece

Suzy Lewis recalls the "absolute disaster" of the painting's 1982 sale

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Art Market Eye

Can Paris snatch the art market crown from London?

The French capital seems resurgent, but other elements may intervene

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Art market

Should post-Brexit UK get rid of the Artist’s Resale Right?

The controversial levy, introduced by the EU in 2006, is intended to help struggling artists but it ends up pouring more money into the hands of the most successful few

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Monuments

Tearing down troubling statues is not lying about our history—it is removing impediments to truth

The UK communities secretary Robert Jenrick's plans to prevent the removal of controversial monuments reveals his inability to view the past as shifting and complex

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Museums

Could 2021 be the year of the African museum?

While the West continues to grapple with its colonial past, institutions from Togo to Cairo are creating more expansive models to celebrate art

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Art market

How will US money laundering crackdown actually impact the art market? A lawyer explains

Congress is increasing its regulation of antiquities trade and while its powers are limited for now, change will come so the art industry must prepare

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Art market

A Covid-19 silver lining? Let’s not return to family-unfriendly art business as usual

The industry could work better for mothers and fathers if it doesn’t go back to the out-of-hours, out-of-town way things were

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Diary of an art historian

Auction houses have finally entered the Amazon age—and I’m addicted

I thought I’d kicked my online art and antiques buying habit but too much lockdown screen time has been my undoing

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Covid-19

As 2021 beckons.... I crave new art in the new year more than ever

With talk of vaccines dominating the airwaves, a return to regular contact with the latest works and upcoming artists may be on the horizon

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Covid-19

'Museums had better not be planning for a return to the status quo'

If institutions keep admission limits in place, they’ll come out of the coronavirus crisis in better health, says art critic Blake Gopnik

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The Year in Review 2020

Art could have dwindled into insignificance in the upheaval of this year—instead it endured

Through the major shifts and moments of victory, art has proved itself to be cathartic, resistant and powerful

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Art market

How art world leaders can embrace new money laundering regulations and create a 'think risk' culture

Punishment for the new rules now falls on the art market's top dogs, says Sotheby’s founding global compliance director Rena Neville

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Museums & Heritage

California needs a plan to restart the arts

There is not a person in the arts who wants to open until it is safe to do so, but we cannot even prepare to start without state guidelines

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Art Market Eye

Asian art market flies in the face of coronavirus

Why are Asians in hot pursuit of art, and what are they buying?

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Museums

Gabrielie Finaldi: 'What is the National Gallery if you can’t visit and you can’t see the pictures?'

Museums have a responsibility to the people to protect and share the collection, says the London museum's director

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Humboldt Forum

'Humboldt Forum must have a clear policy that only objects of proper provenance can be used'

The question of restitution as well as a new order of north-south relations should be top of the agenda, says George Abungu an international adviser to the project

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Art market

The art trade benefits from the UK's low import duty. What will happen to it after Brexit?

As talks with the EU resume to reach a last-ditch trade deal, the lawyer Louise Williamson looks at what UK import rules might look like after 1 January

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Art market

Provenance: the Trojan horse that can make or break a work of art

The who, where and when of ownership can lead on to scholarly, ethical, legal and existential issues

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Museums

A new kind of museum is emerging—here's what the future holds

International museum leaders are confronting manifold challenges in the wake of Covid-19 and innovating in six principal ways, writes András Szántó

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Art Market Eye

The turn of the screw: will tighter regulations impact the art market?

Often described as totally unregulated, the art trade is facing more stringent rules

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Art market

Pastures new: why some top gallery staff are moving on from longtime jobs

Without art fairs and hectic travel, the pandemic has transformed the way most of us work—and some are branching out rather than returning to their old lifestyle

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Cultural heritage

Finally, rebel experts come to the rescue of Unesco’s failing World Heritage programme

New organisation, Our World Heritage, is putting Unesco's feet to the fire

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Diary of an art historian

People see only 'silver tits' and 'bouffant pubes' now—but I predict Mary Wollstonecraft sculpture will become widely admired

One of the iron rules of art history is that the more derided a work of art at first, the more celebrated it will become

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Heritage

Fifty years on, Unesco’s convention against illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts still shines bright

International treaty of 1970 has helped establish an ethical basis for the actions of law enforcement and museums

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Diary of an art historian

Is the UK seeing the emergence of a ‘Godfather approach’ to arts funding?

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has been ignoring the arm's length principle and offering museums unsolicited advice

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Philip Guston

Philip Guston show: 2022 opening is welcome news but confusion still remains

The museums should make urgent use of the delay already caused by the pandemic rather than lurch towards lengthy postponement

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Artists

A message of hope from David Hockney for Lockdown 2: 'Remember, they can't cancel the autumn either'

UK’s leading artist sends two new images of hope

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Saudi Arabia

Why culture is so important in the time of coronavirus

As Saudi Arabia prepares to host the G20 summit, the kingdom's culture minister argues that culture should be part of the agenda

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Artists

Portrait of Tracey: how Emin's cancer diagnosis hasn't stopped her from being an artistic dynamo

With exhibitions at the Royal Academy and Xavier Hufkens, as well as her return to Margate, the artist is doing more in convalescence than most people manage in full health

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Art Market Eye

A flood of art? The market issues around museum deaccessioning

A flurry of museum pieces is heading to auction, but will there be enough buyers for them?

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Sackler family

Nan Goldin: We must stop the Sacklers’ imminent Justice Department immunity deal

The family behind Purdue Pharma is poised to buy their way out of liability once again

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Closures

'Another yawning gap': radical London Print Studio closes its doors

Art world pays tribute to vital public space that served community organisations as well as artists including Lucian Freud, Billy Childish and Shezad Dawood

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coronavirus

Exhibitions need a perfect storm to succeed—but shows opening during Covid-19 are getting a disappointing drizzle

With no group student visits, no art-world private view, and limits on public access, the buzz of new exhibitions has potentially been short-circuited

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Deaccessioning

Baltimore Museum of Art curators respond to deaccessioning criticism

Equity and diversity make history fairer, more accurate, and more meaningful in the present, they say