Politics

US considers rejoining Unesco despite more than $616m membership debt and Israel-Palestine controversies

America left the United Nations heritage organisation in 2019 after its members voted to accept Palestine as a member state

Brazilian president-elect Lula appoints Bahian singer Margareth Menezes as culture minister

The singer Gilberto Gil and the politician Juca Ferreira held the role during Lula’s previous presidency

Crime news

Russian arms dealer and artist Viktor Bout returns to Moscow via prisoner swap with US basketball player Brittney Griner

The man known as The Merchant of Death was exchanged for the American athlete, who was arrested for possessing cannabis oil at a Moscow airport in February

How the war in Ukraine reveals the heightened politics of Unesco

Boycotted Russia resigned as chair of the World Heritage Committee last month

Brazilnews

Brazilian president-elect Lula pledged to reboot the country's culture ministry

As Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva prepares to return to office as Brazil’s president, the country’s arts sector eagerly awaits the reinvigoration of the ministry of culture, which Jair Bolsonaro dissolved

Can art actually help improve Saudi Arabia's abject human rights record?

Culture is being used by Saudi Arabia to project an image of a state that “enriches lives, celebrates national identity and builds understanding between people”

Unpredictable art critic vs hard right minister: Italy’s senior politicians clash over cultural policy

Issues such as free museums and safeguarding heritage are splitting the opinions of two officials in the Brothers of Italy party which swept to power in September

Tania Bruguera pays tribute to political prisoners in Miami performance

The artist and activist staged a performance at El Espacio 23 during Miami Art Week "to remind people what is happening in Cuba right now"

Miami mega-collector Jorge Pérez: 'I hate to see where America is now'

Other leading cultural figures also respond to Florida's swing to the right

Arts Council England's £446m grants: who are the biggest winners and losers?

The announcement signalled a shift of resources away from London, a broader range of venues beyond traditional art museums and an overall reduction in real terms

Censorshipfeature

Losing the battle: Cuba’s dissident artists find ways around censorship despite government crackdown

Since the passage of the country’s repressive Decree 349, the state has gone to great lengths to silence critical voices—but artists refuse to be silenced

Should the world resume co-operating with the Taliban on protecting Afghanistan's heritage?

Conservation projects that have been paused due to sanctions on the new government may restart after Unesco intervention

Arts group takes on Polish government over political interference in cultural institutions

US-based Artistic Freedom Initiative will challenge in EU court the Polish government, saying it is “suppressing free and open artistic expression”

Myanmar's military junta releases outspoken artist Htein Lin who had been sentenced to a year's hard labour

The artist was set free in an amnesty of political prisoners, which included his British wife

Revealed: the first photograph of the Louvre's Leonardo book that was spiked over Salvator Mundi fiasco

The story of the "Léonard de Vinci. Le Salvator Mundi" publication that was withdrawn from sale

Farewell to contemporary art in Russia: the cancellation of the Moscow Biennale marks the end of an era

Dozens of contemporary art shows have been forced to close since the outset of the war with Ukraine—but this one was meant to serve Putinist propaganda

Italy's Uffizi Galleries forced to stay shut over public holiday due to staff shortage

Culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano criticises museum for not opening on the Monday before All Saints Day but director Eike Schmidt says government must step in to find "reinforcements"

Artist robot goes to UK parliament—and gives politicians nightmares

“Contemporary art project” Ai-Da gave evidence to the House of Lords, taking questions from bemused members

A dark winter looms for UK museums as energy costs and fewer visitors continue to hit revenue

The UK's 15 nationally funded museums have seen visitor numbers drop by over a third compared to June 2019, thanks in large part to the pandemic. They are now facing price rises, with government support still unclear

Controversial $1.8bn redevelopment of Delhi’s parliament complex enters second phase

A number of the Indian capital's major cultural institutions, including the National Museum, will be rehoused

Italy’s far right weaponises culture in the interests of nationalism

Concern over Brothers of Italy policies ahead of 25 September election

Art and activist body a/political to open London space with exhibition by Russian artist facing trial over sex video

Pyotr Pavlensky has been ordered to stand trial in France over leaked sex videos that brought down a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron

Poland demands Russia return seven paintings it claims were looted during Second World War

Putin’s international cultural envoy, Mikhail Shvydkoy, says Poland’s request has no legal grounds

Cameras illicitly planted in Palestinian olive grove will broadcast life from the occupied West Bank to museums worldwide

The initiative from new activist group headed by Jewish South African artist Adam Broomberg and Palestinian activist Issa Amro aims to reveal the realities of the Palestinian struggle in the ancient city of Hebron

Michelle Donelan named new UK culture secretary

The former minister for universities has been promoted under the new prime minister, Liz Truss

Brazilian arts sector condemns federal culture management amid fears of military dictatorship revival

As the October presidential election looms, the Bolsonaro administration is being scrutinised for its poor support of the cultural sector, while opponent Lula promises reform

UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries resigns amid party leadership change

Dorries, the 10th culture secretary in 12 years, was closely aligned with former prime minister Boris Johnson

First the Taliban, now local planners—Afghanistan's World Heritage site Bamiyan Valley endangered further

Unesco warns of risks of construction works in the archaeological zone where the Bamiyan Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001