News

News
US politics

Anti-Trump artist billboards greet presidential candidates in Cleveland

Ahead of Tuesday’s debate, political action committee Artists United for Change rolled out a new campaign to #VoteThemOut aimed at five battleground states

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Arts funding

Leading New York non-profit for socially engaged art lays off full-time staff and announces multi-year restructuring

Following the financial fallout from Covid-19, A Blade of Grass—which has supported activist artists such as Dread Scott and Simone Leigh—will also end its influential fellowship programme

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Exhibitions

National Gallery hopes Artemisia exhibition will inspire public to 'get through the Covid crisis'

Postponed by the pandemic, the show will reveal Baroque artist's recently discovered intimate letters and "unflinching" paintings

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Museums & Heritage

Centre Pompidou could close for three years for 'essential' renovations

French government also considering option of a seven-year overhaul that would allow the Paris gallery to stay partially open

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Films

Three decades of William Kentridge’s animations go online this week

Goodman Gallery launches video programme today—and you can exclusively watch the premiere of the artist's new film on The Art Newspaper website this Saturday

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US politics

Artists are "Biden the bullet" to support the 2020 Democratic ticket in the lead up to the US election

Pat Steir, Betye Saar and Julie Mehretu are among hundreds of artists donating work to raise funds as the art world rallies to support the Biden-Harris campaign

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Andres Serrano

Donald Trump, the brand: a history of the real estate tycoon turned US president in 1,000 objects

Andres Serrano tells us about his multifaceted portrait of the US president in book form, created from his archive of memorabilia

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Grand Palais

Grand Palais's long-awaited renovation curtailed over soaring costs

Following government intervention, the historic Parisian exhibition space will now undergo a more 'sober restoration'

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Museums & Heritage

Has Putin’s $1.6bn plan to build new cultural centres throughout Russia hit the rocks?

Foundation running the huge project has cut more than 80% of staff, but construction continues

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Auctions

Los Angeles shows its love for Beirut with online charity art auction

Standout works include a haunting photograph by Rania Matar and an image of Muhammad Ali by French street artist Mr Brainwash

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Art market

Cowan’s auction house returns indigenous war god sculpture to a Zuni Pueblo

The figures, carved by tribal members every winter and left in ceremonial shrines atop a mountain, have regularly been stolen and made their into museums and private collections throughout the US and Europe

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Museums & Heritage

Quebec Culture Minister promises overhaul of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts after independent report cites governance issues

The redacted report suggests major changes, including the creation of an ethics committee or a reduction in the board’s size

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Obituaries

Robert Bechtle, Bay Area photorealist whose work captured the magic of everyday moments, has died, aged 88

The painter created hyper realistic images based on photographs he took in his Bay Area neighbourhood

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teamLab

TeamLab to open permanent installation in Shanghai nightclub

It is the latest move by the multimedia collective whose interactive works often attract large crowds

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Museums & Heritage

Inside The Box: Plymouth’s £48m bid for cultural revival

Pandemic scuppers city’s celebrations of Mayflower anniversary and hopes for tourist crowds—but flagship museum project opens against the odds

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Art market

Art Basel in Hong Kong and Art Central—under one roof in 2021

The two fairs will take place at the same time in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre in March

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Philip Guston

Critics, scholars—and even museum’s own curator—condemn decision to postpone Philip Guston show over Ku Klux Klan imagery

Move is deemed “cowardly” and “patronising” after joint statement from host museums including National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and London’s Tate Modern

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Museums & Heritage

Royal Academy of Arts considers selling Michelangelo marble to plug financial hole—and not for the first time

Some academicians argue that instead of cutting almost half of the institution's jobs, it should consider selling the Taddei Tondo—worth several hundred million pounds

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Philanthropy

Amid pandemic, foundations marshal $156m to support minority arts organisations in the US

Funds are intended to counter the devastation that the coronavirus has wrought in the national arts landscape

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Video, film & new media

New Jersey artist residency turns their campus into a free drive-in theatre

Gardenship in Kearny Point has been hosting video art exhibitions and film screenings during the pandemic, including the Jean Michel-Basquiat cult classic Downtown 81 this weekend

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The Art Newspaper Live

The Art Newspaper Live returns! Registration now open for 'New models for new times: Rethinking the art market in a changing world'

Join industry thought leaders like Sunny Rabhar, Ayo Adeyinka and Clare McAndrew in conversation with our art market experts in a three-part series of events beginning 8 October. Presented in partnership with Cromwell Place

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Public art

New public art project in London will show works by Ai Weiwei and Eddie Peake on Europe's largest billboard

The digital art platform CIRCA will commission a new artist every month to create a work that reflects on the year 2020

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Restitution

Police search for Benin Bronze protestor—found guilty of 'threatening behaviour'

Isaiah Ogundele, who demonstrated outside the Museum of London, Docklands for the objects' repatriation, failed to appear at his court hearing earlier this month

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Conservation & Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation lists 11 most endangered historic sites in US

Locations range from the Chicago church where Emmett Till’s body was viewed, galvanising the civil rights movement, to a ‘Hall of Waters’ in Missouri

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Museums & Heritage

Discover Raphael’s creative process with new state-of-the-art renovation of V&A's Cartoons Court

New 3D imagery reveals secrets of the Renaissance masterpieces as space reopens in time for 500th anniversary of Old Master's death

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Auctions

This $80m Botticelli could be one of the most expensive portraits ever sold at auction

The painting, to be offered at Sotheby's New York in January, is estimated to sell for 100 times more than the owner paid for it in 1982

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Lawsuits

Insurers fight $107m claim for Modigliani paintings seized by Italian police

A US dealer says he is owed millions by insurance brokers for 12 works that were confiscated by authorities from the Palazzo Ducale in 2017 as suspected fakes

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Museums & Heritage

As US blocks TikTok, Italy's Uffizi claims the platform has doubled its number of young visitors

Experts predict that alternative platforms such as Byte App and Dubsmash will now go mainstream and museum's director says it is "ready to jump onto new social media"

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Law

Robert Indiana’s Star of Hope reaches deal with Morgan Art Foundation to end ongoing legal battles

The two organisations will work together to settle the artist’s estate and get his charitable foundation up and running in Maine

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Museums & Heritage

Stone, bronze, glass, pathways: Princeton University Art Museum unveils David Adjaye's design

Pavilions linked by transparent “lenses” will dispense with hierarchies and display renowned collection on a single level

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Acquisitions

American Folk Art Museum announces gift of over 500 works by self-taught artists

Trove donated by collector Audrey B. Heckler includes examples of European Art Brut and works by African-American artists

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Auction houses

Hedge fund manager Alexander Klabin buys stake in Sotheby's financing arm

Now the chairman of Sotheby's Financial Services, Klabin was previously approached to back a competing offer to block last year's buyout of the auction house by Patrick Drahi

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Art market

Class of 2020: five picks from Art Basel's online viewing room (another one)

The latest virtual fair, OVR:2020, limits 100 galleries to showing six works each, all produced this year—we pick our highlights

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Acquisitions

What Beatrix Ruf did next: former Stedelijk director oversees new fund that will donate works to the Netherlands

Dutch entrepreneur Rob Defares has donated €10m to the new initiative

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Art crime

Two Manhattan antiquities dealers arrested on charges of fraud

Authorities have accused Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan of running an alleged scheme to swindle buyers by using fake provenances

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Brazil

Court-ordered auction of works from disgraced Brazilian banker's collection prompts new controversy

The Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo claims it is owed $3.6m for conserving and storing around 1,600 works repossessed from bankrupt Banco Santos president Edemar Cid Ferreira

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diversity

Rockefeller Brothers Fund plans $1.5m in grants to help New York museums promote diverse artists

Financial aid will help eight institutions “disrupt dominant narratives” and “build back a more equitable culture” after Covid lockdown

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Politics

Activist groups condemn 'unjust' imprisonment of Sudanese artists including award-winning filmmaker Hajooj Kuka

Human Rights Watch among the organisations criticising the decision by Khartoum court to convict pro-democracy collective that were rehearsing a performance

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Museums

Paris court case shines a light on growing cosiness between curators, state museums and galleries

Marlborough gallery and a retired Guimet Museum curator are accused of bribery in their promotion of the artist Chu Teh-Chun—but say they broke no rules

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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

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Museums

Plans for world's biggest Picasso museum in south of France scuppered

Aix-en-Provence city council says that sale fell through after negotiations with artist’s stepdaughter broke down

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Monuments

Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be memorialised with statue in Brooklyn

Governor Andrew Cuomo has suggested a site for the monument of the Supreme Court justice, overlooking the Statue of Liberty

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Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump’s angry tweets recorded in tiny pricks

How one woman’s frustrations inspired an army of needlework artists—and a series of exhibitions

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Feminism

Vancouver painter’s $100 Facebook portraits raise more than $150,000 for residency project

Proto-Riot Grrrl Jean Smith plans to launch space to support international artists

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The Art Car Boot Fair

‘Viral’ online art fair crashes and is postponed after proving too popular

The launch of the first virtual edition of the Art Car Boot Fair was cancelled after users overwhelmed the website

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Funding

New £25m fund aims to help UK museums ‘get back on their feet’

The Garfield Weston foundation is offering grants of up to £2m while Historic England is launching a £7.4m initiative for artist projects that help boost high streets

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Museums

Chair of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts steps down as former director sues over unfair dismissal

Michel de la Chenelière is not seeking term renewal as controversy over Nathalie Bondil's departure rumbles on

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Art fairs

Online market place for art continues to grow as new digital fair announced during Frieze week

Daata fair is dedicated to video and digital works and aims to reach collectors who “simply don’t have the patience” to watch films at real-life fairs

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Paul Gauguin

Rediscovered Paul Gauguin manuscript written in his Polynesian hut reveals artist's hidden secrets

Original book with nearly 30 images has been acquired by London's Courtauld Gallery and will go on display next year

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Whitney Museum of American Art

Artists urge the Whitney to review its ethical practices following backlash over cancelled exhibition

An open letter calls for the Whitney to “commit to a year of action—of mobilisation and introspection”

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Museums

Citing pandemic, V&A and Smithsonian drop plan to co-curate a gallery in London

After cancellation of project for V&A East, the institutions say they still plan to cooperate on an internship programme

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Photography

Photographers fear steep costs and little payment for covering protests

A lack of protections for—and an increase in domestic dangers to—photojournalists is becoming increasingly visible amid the pandemic and political rallies

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Openings

Pack your goggles! France to open three underwater sculpture parks this autumn

Visitors will need to swim to see new exhibits submerged off the coast of Corsica, Marseille and Cannes

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Film

A new documentary chronicles the revolutionary power of Mexican artist and activist David Siqueiro's murals

"Siqueiros: Walls of Passion" includes voice work by actor Cheech Marin and explores the restoration of the artist's iconic and controversial LA mural "América Tropical"

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Antiquities & Archaeology

High school student leads archaeologists to lost Inca settlement

A local boy pointed out the spot in northwest Argentina where researchers discovered the previously unrecorded site Cerro Quemado

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Royal Academy of Arts

London’s Royal Academy of Arts plans to slash 40% of jobs

Cuts have been announced as the institution aims to make savings of £8m a year and awaits news on government grant

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Art market

Controversy erupts over Fiac cancellation

Paris's major contemporary art fair has been scrapped due to Covid-19 fears, but galleries are divided over whether the decision was wise or "lacking courage"

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Museums

Indian museum celebrating Muslim dynasty renamed after Hindu king

The museum, located in Agra, will show art, jewellery and fashion of the Mughal Empire

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Deaccessioning

Cranach, Courbet and Corot: a closer look at what the Brooklyn Museum is selling off

The institution is deaccessioning its only Cranach and 11 other works to finance care of its collection

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Conservation & Preservation

As the world contends with Covid, World Monuments Fund makes a bet on sustainable tourism

Taking a lesson from how the pandemic dispersed crowds, the organisation selects seven sites for preservation and promotion

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Museum trustees

Groups call for removal of Lacma trustee tied to ‘exploitative’ telecommunications company

Organisations target Tom Gores, whose firm invests in a corporation accused of charging prison inmates “egregious” rates for calls

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Art market

Lisson, Sadie Coles HQ and Stephen Friedman to open (temporarily) on London's Cork Street during Frieze week

In lieu of an October fair, the blue-chip galleries will congregate around the Mayfair street during what would—under normal circumstances—be the London art market's busiest month

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Banksy

Banksy loses trademark battle over his famous Flower Thrower image

The street artist opened a pop-up shop in Croydon last year in a bid to protect his image rights, but was found to have “acted in bad faith”

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Art market

UK High Court ruling could be 'welcome news' for arts organisations denied Covid-19 insurance payout

Judgment this week ruled in favour of the Financial Conduct Authority's test case seeking clarification of policies as many insurers refuse to pay out during the pandemic

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Museums & Heritage

Fotografiska complex in London—world’s ‘largest photography venue’—is dropped

Investment group behind the project blames Brexit and Covid-19

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Museums & Heritage

Activist employee group demands resignations of three Guggenheim leaders

But support for the statement, alleging “oppressive behaviours” by director, chief operating officer and chief curator, is unclear

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Election 2020

Wake up call: artist Hank Willis Thomas wants to spur voter turnout with the Wide Awakes group

Based on the 1860 Wide Awake movement that mobilised against slavery and helped elect Lincoln, the new network of artists and creatives has launched Kickstarter's largest collaboration to date

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Mumbai

Street art by ‘India’s Banksy’ defaced by right-wing youth group in Mumbai

Tyler Street Artist had painted the names of pro-government public figures onto a road for a collaborative public shaming project

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Australia

Campaign to 'free' the Aboriginal flag gains momentum as Australian government seeks exclusive licensing rights

Made by the Luritja artist Harold Thomas in 1971, the rights to the flag design are currently held by Ben Wooster, a former art dealer previously fined $2.3m for selling fake Aboriginal works of art

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Germany

Is the Nebra Sky Disc a millennium younger than we thought?

Analysis by German archaeologists suggests that the piece was not part of the Bronze-Age hoard looted in 1999

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Appointments & departures

Six women, one foreigner: Italy appoints 13 new museum and heritage directors

Culture minister Dario Franceschini reverses trend for appointing foreign leaders for its leading institutions

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Commercial galleries

Cancel art galleries? Staff take grievances against employers to Instagram

Anonymously posted incidents of racism and sexism are forcing greater scrutiny towards problematic behaviour within the industry

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Art fairs

Fiac cancelled as new travel restrictions are imposed across Europe

The Paris art fair had seemed defiant in the face of coronavirus but organisers say they could not “meet the legitimate expectations of its exhibitors”

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Photography

Mohamed Bourouissa wins the 2020 Deutsche Börse photography prize

French-Algerian artist awarded £30,000 prize for works about marginalised communities, including series on Paris suburbs and shoplifters in Brooklyn

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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia pushes soft power by launching new teamLab digital art museum in Jeddah

The hi-tech Tokyo-based collective will create trademark immersive experiences for the new space

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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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Museums

Oxford museum removes 'racist' shrunken heads from display after 80 years

Exhibiting Tsantsas "reinforced racist and stereotypical thinking that goes against the museum’s core values,” says the Pitt Rivers Museum's director

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Museums & Heritage

Museum of Memory dedicated to victims of state violence wins prize in Nicaragua

While its physical location was closed by the combined impact of government reprisals and the global pandemic, the museum lives on as a digital space

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Canada

Mural memorialises Vancouver’s lost historic Black neighbourhood

Hogan’s Alley was once a thriving hub of Black Canadian culture, before it was demolished like so many communities in the name of urban renewal

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Film

Cate Blanchett takes on multiple personalities in her second art film, directed by Italian artist Marco Brambilla

The three-minute video in which Blanchett embodies the Greek philosopher Galen's four temperaments debuts today at Michael Fuchs Galerie in Berlin

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Venice

New laser-scanning project will allow Venice to live on forever as a digital avatar

A team of scientists are digitally mapping the entire island of San Giorgio in a mission to preserve the sinking city as combinations of 0 and 1

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Art market

2021 art fair calendar already in flux after Taipei Dangdai moves from January to May

Delay and cancellation of events early next year prompts the question: will Frieze Los Angeles still take place in February?

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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

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Beirut

Hope for a new future: Beirut's art world tell us how the city might be rebuilt

As the city's arts community mourns the loss of colleagues and assesses the damage to its museums and galleries, some believe change will come from the disaster—others are less optimistic

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Museums & Heritage

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to open with Hayao Miyazaki retrospective in 2021

The new Los Angeles institution will honour the influential Japanese film-maker with an immersive show that draws visitors into his animated worlds

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Labour

It is not just artists who are starving: how the US can rebuild its creative industry post-Covid

A proposal issued to both presidential campaigns by Americans for the Arts outlines a national strategy to put creative workers back to work

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Venice Biennale

Wanted—curator of the British Pavilion at Venice Biennale (who will work for £12,500)

Collector Shane Akeroyd sponsors post for ten-year period

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Art market

Keeping it in the family: Charles Saatchi’s daughter to open huge London gallery

Phoebe Saatchi Yates has collaborated with her husband and father to launch 10,000 sq ft Mayfair gallery focused on “unknown” artists

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Exhibitions

Largest hoard of Bronze Age objects found in London—containing mysteries of city's ancient residents—goes on show

The Havering Hoard, which will be exhibited at the Museum of London, Docklands, was discovered two years ago and has never before been shown in its entirety

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Belarus

Belarusian opposition leader and arts promoter Maria Kolesnikova charged with organising a coup d'état

Aleksandr Lukashenko regime continues to crackdown on Belarus’s contemporary arts community

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Antiquities & Archaeology

Fingerprints help identify age and sex of prehistoric painters in southern Spain

Researchers studied the Neolithic rock art in the Los Machos rockshelter

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Obituaries

Forrest Fenn, known for burying $2m worth of treasure in the Rocky Mountains, dies at 90

The controversial yet colourful Santa Fe-based art and antiquities dealer announced that his treasure had been found shortly before his death

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Art market

Cosmoscow determined to be first major fair to go ahead

Event still plans to run this week and hopes for a less distracted local Russian collector base, starved of international art travels

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Art market

Galleries cast doubt on the return of fairs in 2021 in latest Art Basel and UBS report

Covid-19 has forced galleries to cut staff by 33% on average as sales plummet 36% in the first half of 2020—and optimism is dwindling for next year

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Photography

Magnum photographer Alec Soth defends similarities with work by Chicago artist Tonika Johnson

On commission for the New York Times, Soth says he had "no knowledge" of the long-term project by the Chicago resident and documentary photographer

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Brexit

Post-Brexit UK festival chief seeks country’s 'brightest talents' amid criticism over £120m cost

The project, planned for 2022, promises £3m in total to successful applications

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Commercial galleries

Hauser & Wirth appoints Fortnum & Mason head as first global chief executive

Ewan Venters will join the mega gallery in January with a focus on leading the business while co-presidents concentrate on the artists

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Exhibitions

Saatchi Gallery exhibits London’s graduate artists deprived of degree shows

The exhibition forms part of the education programme at the collector’s gallery which has now ‘transitioned into a charity’

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Money laundering

Will US Congress finally pass anti-money laundering legislation?

A recent Senate report found that secretive art market enables sanctions circumvention

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Auctions

Shipwrecked, disinherited, imprisoned, accused of being a Gunpowder Plotter: Tudor adventurer’s portrait hits the block

Portrait thought to be of Thomas Arundell is to be auctioned at Woolley & Wallis this week