Politics

Governments are ‘weaponising’ Covid-19 to silence dissident artist voices, report says

Seventeen artists were killed, 82 imprisoned and 133 detained over the past year in 26 countries, according to new Freemuse study

Keep your distance, former culture ministers warn UK government

Independence of museums and heritage bodies is at risk, say Ed Vaizey and Chris Smith, as Johnson’s government pushes ‘anti-woke’ agenda

Belarus culture figures face severe repression for criticising 'Europe's last dictator', amnesty report reveals

Artists among those being arrested and tortured for speaking up against President Aleksandr Lukashenko

Are museums as Covid-risky as saunas? Culture leaders outraged over late reopening of English art spaces

Commercial galleries, non-essential retail, and even gyms have been given the green light to open before museums under the UK government's "roadmap" to lift coronavirus restrictions

Bank of England wades into UK's escalating culture war on controversial monuments, saying it will remove images of slave owners

“Retain and explain” or restrain and refrain? Culture chiefs raise the alarm on government’s policy to keep problematic statues ahead of crucial meeting

Officials confirm: museums in England can reopen from 17 May under Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap

Commercial galleries will be permitted to open from 12 April under the new plan to gradually lift Covid-19 safety measures

Cubanews

Calls for 'art strike' against state-run cultural institutions in Cuba

Art professionals “on and off the island” are urged to stop working with state-run institutions that have been “complicit in their silence” as the government amps up efforts to squash dissent

Ukrainian art scholar reportedly tortured and imprisoned by Russian forces on ‘absurd’ espionage charges

International Council of Museums committees in Ukraine and Poland appeal for help to secure Olena Pekh's release

LGBTQnews

Polish region loses €1.65m European heritage grant after declaring itself 'LGBT-free zone'

Norway Grants pulled the award after Podkarpackie councillors voted for a resolution to "resist the promotion of LGBT ideology"

Far-right mayor reopens four museums in southern France—without government’s permission

Although national museums are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Perpignan's Musée Rigaud, Casa Pairal, Musée Puig and the museum of natural history are open to the public again

The fight against Putin: artists on the frontline

Plus, India reconstructs its history and Navid Nuur on Walter de Maria

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

Cubanews

Tania Bruguera and members of Cuban artist-activist group 27N arrested in Havana

Footage from the protest also shows the Cuban minister of culture striking a journalist

The white supremacist art at the heart of the US Capitol

Plus, a $2.2m Batman comic and the artists inspired by political theorist Hannah Arendt

Culture war erupts over Venice mayor's closure of Doge's Palace and other civic museums until April

Luigi Brugnaro's "entrepreneurial" decision violates Venice's historic agreement with Italian state to keep the landmark open to the public

Indianews

India's Supreme Court approves Modi's £2bn 'vanity project' to redevelop Delhi parliament complex

The reconstruction of the Central Vista is a significant step in the prime minister's efforts to sever the nation from its colonial past

French Senate and government lock horns on restitution

Deputies rejected senators' proposal for a national council to advise the government on future restitution claims

Brexit: how will it change the art market?

Plus, Neville Wakefield on John McCracken's planks

Hosted by Ben Luke. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson

Tania Bruguera under house arrest in Cuba as anti-government protests escalate

Authorities are “building a case against” the artist, says sister

Censored work showing faces of 4,000 French police officers goes on show in Berlin

Work was pulled after the intervention of France's interior minister amid protests against a new bill that would have criminalised the publication of images of law enforcement

Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara released, but then placed under house arrest as protests in Havana continue

Support for the San Isidro Movement is growing, while Cuba’s government continues to retaliate against demonstrators calling for the release of jailed rapper Denis Solís González

Hungarian museum director faces backlash after comparing George Soros to Hitler

In an op-ed published this weekend, Szilard Demeter called the billionaire financier 'the liberal Führer'

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

Kara Walker kicks Donald Trump to the curb and more of the best Instagram art responding to the US election

From Jules de Balincourt's painting of Kamala Harris to Rania Matar's photograph of Boston celebrations, we look at artists' reactions to Joe Biden's win

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

Turkeynews

Turkey seizes seeds from the British Institute at Ankara reflecting growing tensions in field of archaeology

Removal of ancient and modern specimens is latest run-in between President Erdogan’s government and foreign missions

What's behind the red lightning bolt, the main symbol of Poland's pro-choice marches?

As thousands take to the streets to protest against a near-total ban on abortion, the graphic designer Ola Jasionowska tells us about creating the movement's logo

Artist demands Baku art centre pulls his exhibition for using it as a 'propaganda tool' in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

Turkish-born Ahmet Ogut says the Yarat Contemporary Art Space refused to take down the exhibition banner with his name appearing next to the Azerbaijani flag

As constitutional showdown nears, 'artivism' abounds in Chile

The country's artists and galleries are using their platforms to press for social change and support protestors

Shepard Fairey—creator of famous Obama 'Hope' poster—makes new Time cover image ahead of US election

For first time in 100-year history, magazine replaces logo with the imperative to vote