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Acquisitions

Hitler in Hell: German Historical Museum acquires George Grosz painting

Painted while Grosz was living in exile, the work has remained in the family since 1944

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Art market

Art Basel in Hong Kong exhibitors call for 50% discount as concerns mount over a drop off in collectors and freedom of expression

Galleries including Lévy Gorvy, Lisson and Sprüth Magers have expressed their concerns in a letter to the fair organisers

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Exhibitions

Two Iran exhibitions in Germany put on ice amid political tensions

Insurers refused to cover the transport of loans, including salt-mine mummies and Greek and Roman antiquities

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Museums

Tate privacy battle over viewing platform 'snooping' goes back to court

Claimant says she feels “completely exposed” in her apartment overlooked by the museum

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Museums

Activist artists hack poll in New Museum’s Hans Haacke retrospective

Survey results are changed out of concern that Haacke’s work is being “co-opted”

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Museums & Heritage

Thomas Campbell, former Met director, sizes up challenges for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

After more than a year in his new job, we interview the director about his priorities

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Restitution

Three Nazi-looted works bought by Gurlitt return to Jewish collector’s heirs

Two paintings by Jean-Louis Forain were discovered in Cornelius Gurlitt’s trove; the third work, by Constantin Guys, was restituted by another family member

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Art market

Christie's cancels Dubai sale of Middle Eastern art

March auction will return to the Emirate in spring 2021, but is cancelled this year due to new strategy and constrained supply of works

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British Museum

British Museum exhibition to challenge 'salacious stereotypes' around Tantra

Major show will unpick ancient Indian philosophy made famous by Sting’s “eight-hour lovemaking session” claims

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#metoo

'Whistleblower' in Subodh Gupta #MeToo defamation case makes first statement in Delhi court

The Instagram account @herdsceneand is being sued for posting sexual harassment allegations against the artist

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Appointments

Russia's controversial culture minister ousted in Putin's government reshuffle

But Vladimir Medinsky, who has been replaced by Olga Lyubimova, will 'not be left without work' in culture, the Russian President says

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Acquisitions

Highlighting a shift, Art Gallery of Ontario acquires works by prominent women artists

With works by Judy Chicago, Tacita Dean, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Silke Otto-Knapp, the museum is one of many prioritizing acquisitions of art by women

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Amazon

Archaeologists uncover evidence that legendary Amazons were based on real women warriors

The Scythian tomb contained four women buried with all their regalia and weapons, including a gold headdress, spears and riding equipment

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Law

Artist pleads guilty to assault and harassment charges in domestic violence case

As part of plea agreement, Tobias Madison must attend a 26-week batterers’ programme and attend weekly therapy sessions to have his criminal record cleared in a year’s time

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Museums & Heritage

International Center of Photography prepares to reopen in a far bigger home in New York

Lower East Side location will unite exhibition space with the institution's school of 3,500 students

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Politics

Taiwan's re-election of president Tsai Ing-wen is good news for its art world

Politician has been working on professionalising the island nation's cultural sphere

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Fraud

German socialite Angela Gulbenkian faces second criminal case over Warhol picture

The Munich-based dealer and collector is also due to stand trial in London for allegedly stealing £1.1m in Kusama pumpkin sale

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Derek Jarman

Artists rally to save Prospect Cottage, the house of late filmmaker Derek Jarman

Art Fund leads the initiative to raise the £3.5m needed to purchase the Kent cottage

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Nazi loot

Supreme Court delays Guelph Treasure appeal so US government can add its views to case

The German state museum agency has argued that it cannot be sued in American courts by heirs of Jewish dealers who sold the works during the Holocaust

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Artists

CalArts recruits alumni to create works financing students’ scholarships

From John Baldessari to Tony Oursler, the marketing effort unites artists of multiple generations

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Art market

Tefaf boss Patrick van Maris—who took the fair brand to New York—quits

The president and chief executive of the Dutch fair group since 2015 will leave at the end of May

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Forgeries

Alleged Bronzino seized from the Alana Collection in connection with ongoing Old Master scandal

French customs officials have barred the return of Saint Cosmos to the US following its inclusion in a show at the Jacquemart André Museum in Paris

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Appointments

BBC head Tony Hall joins London's National Gallery to lead board of trustees

Hall will leave his top media job in the summer to take up the unpaid position at the museum

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Art education

Is art history under threat? UK universities see 28.5% drop in the subject in past decade

Latest figures show decline in first year students choosing humanities degrees in favour of business, agriculture and medicine

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Museums & Heritage

Princeton artist-fellow Mario Moore celebrates African American workers

The university has acquired five portraits of men and women who hold blue-collar jobs on campus

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Art market

San Francisco fairs reflect the Bay Area's widening wealth gap

While Fog Design+Art and Untitled continue to draw established dealers, younger galleries opt out due to concerns over sustainability

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Controversies

Luanda Leaks: Isabel dos Santos—who owns vast African art collection—accused of making her $2.2bn fortune by exploiting Angola

Dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokolo own around 3,000 works by artists including William Kentridge and Zanele Muholi

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Vincent Van Gogh

Not a fake: Van Gogh self-portrait is his only work painted while suffering psychosis, experts say

The newly attributed work is quite unlike Van Gogh’s other 35 self-portraits and reveals an intriguing insight into his mutilated ear

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Art theft

Five Old Masters return to German castle 40 years after theft

The paintings, including works by Holbein and Hals, were smuggled across the Iron Curtain in the 1980s and recovered in a secret operation last year

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Acquisitions

UK fails to save painting of 'paramount importance' as Getty export licence is granted

Recently rediscovered 18th-century work by artist Joseph Wright of Derby was bought by the Los Angeles museum in March last year

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Brazil

Brazil's culture secretary dismissed after channeling Joseph Goebbels in video promoting national arts prize

Roberto Alvim, a former theatre director, is a die-hard supporter of the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro

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Acquisitions

National Portrait Gallery acquires 20 works from collecting couple

Ian and Annette Cumming set out to commission likenesses of people who would remain renowned

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Pablo Picasso

Caught smuggling Picasso on his yacht, Spanish billionaire collector gets €52m fine and 18 months in prison

Jaime Botin, of the Santander dynasty, did not have a permit to export the painting

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Saudi Arabia

Desert X AlUla—the inaugural art biennial in a historic Saudi Arabian valley—announces participants

Wael Shawky, Superflex and eL Seed are among the artists who will base works on the ancient history of the region

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Exhibitions

Sean Scully to have first show in Switzerland in nearly a decade

Italian dealer Marco Voena is supporting an exhibition of the Irish artist's work at the Forum Paracelsus in St Moritz

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Museums

Tokyo’s treasure house of Impressionist painting reopens as Artizon Museum

Former Bridgestone Museum of Art will have new focus on creativity through the ages after a three-year renovation

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Restitution

Berlin restitutes painting to heirs of 'degenerate' artist for the first time

A portrayal of Lot by Hans Baldung Grien was sold to the Gemäldegalerie in 1937 by Hans Purrmann

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Biennials & festivals

Honolulu Biennial switches to triennial format

The next exhibition curated by Hirshhorn director Melissa Chiu will open in February 2022, with a preview symposium held the year before

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Crime

Released but still under investigation: Russian couple embroiled in fraud scandal

Igor and Olga Toporovsky linked to controversial show of Russian avant-garde works in Ghent

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Park Avenue Armory

Park Avenue Armory to commission 100 women artists for centennial of 19th amendment

Partner institutions across the city will help select artists to commemorate milestone anniversary of womens’ right to vote

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Politics

Russian government quits as Putin rewrites constitution—with the help of key cultural leaders

Directors of the State Hermitage Museum and State Tretyakov Gallery are part of a team enlisted to create laws that will allow the president to remain in power

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Exhibitions

Cecily Brown will fill grand birthplace of Winston Churchill with images of broken Britain

UK artist says exhibition at Blenheim Palace is a timely opportunity to examine the country's current tumult

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Exhibitions

Taiwan to host censored Aichi Triennale show

Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art is planning to restage the exhibition, which was partly closed due to violent threats over the inclusion of a 'comfort woman' statue

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MoMA PS1

Artists in PS1 Gulf War show urge museum to sever ties with toxic philanthropy

After Michael Rakowitz paused his video, 37 artists have signed an open letter condemning investments by MoMA board members Larry Fink and Leon Black into private prisons, weapons manufacturing and defense firms

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Virtual and augmented reality

New Museum and Onassis Foundation join to launch a mixed reality lab in New York

The new venture will offer a dozen artists' residencies and an exhibition space

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Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Los Angeles’s Lucas Museum acquires major archive of African American cinema

Although its building is still under construction, the institution is partnering with Lacma on a one-day film programme in South Los Angeles next month

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Art law

UK light artist sues Miami botanical garden over 'unauthorised replicas' of his work

Bruce Munro claims the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens intentionally imitated his works for its festive event known as The NightGarden

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Frieze

Frieze shake-up: former media boss chosen as company's first CEO

Changes are afoot with both the fairs and the magazine as majority shareholder Endeavor make plans for the future

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Venice Biennale 2021

Stan Douglas to represent Canada at 2021 Venice Biennale

The multimedia artist’s sci-fi epic Doppelgänger from the last international exhibition is due to be shown in New York and London this month

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Public art

Living refugees of civil war honoured in New York public art project by Krzysztof Wodiczko

The artist hopes to transform an existing monument with contemporary experiences so there will be “no more need for new war memorials”

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Commissions

Korean wave hits the art world: K-pop stars collaborate on major artist projects

Connect BTS will take place across five cities and involve commissions by artists such as Antony Gormley and Tomás Saraceno

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Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst medicine cabinet bought for £600 goes on sale for over £1m

Softer YBA market faces test as collection amassed by London bond trader goes under the hammer at Phillips next month

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Restitution

Arts Council England asks for help in returning looted artefacts held in UK museums

Tender opened for guidance around repatriation questions for items including those acquired from former colonies

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Catalogues raisonnés

Secret papers on famous artists including Gauguin, Renoir and Monet to be revealed

New York-based Wildenstein-Plattner Institute will digitise fabled Wildenstein archive of sale catalogues, letters and experts’ notes

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Museums

Will new €50m Albertina Modern museum revolutionise Vienna’s contemporary art scene?

Satellite venue of historic Albertina is to focus on Austrian and international art made after 1945

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Museums & Heritage

Director is out at Erie Art Museum

Departure follows New York Times article describing objectionable behaviour with female employees

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Appointments

Nazi loot expert joins Louvre to investigate its wartime acquisitions

Hire of French art historian Emmanuelle Polack suggests a more proactive stance on Nazi-era provenance research at Paris museum

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Art market

Sotheby’s to auction three Nazi-looted works restituted to Jewish collector’s heirs

Two paintings by Signac and one by Pissarro are expected to fetch as much as £20m

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Art crime

Why do courts lack conviction in art cases?

Collapse of Bulmer theft case is just the latest in string of failed art-related convictions

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Venice Biennale

Cecilia Alemani appointed artistic director of the 2021 Venice Biennale

The High Line and Art Basel Cities curator is the first Italian woman to hold the position

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British Museum

Climate activists urge British Museum to reject BP funding, as Arctic exhibition announced

Planned show seeks to raise awareness of climate change, but London museum dogged by controversy over partnership with oil and gas giant

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Art education

'Taking us back to the dark ages': UK-Europe exchange programme Erasmus hangs in the balance

Art history academics speak out as impending Brexit deadline threatens European partnership

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Albrecht Dürer

Possible Dürer discovered above souvenir shop in Vienna's cathedral

Experts believe underdrawing in St Stephen’s is first evidence that the master worked in the Austrian capital

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Contemporary art

Rodney Graham’s Spinning Chandelier creates a ‘class-warfare’ debate in Vancouver

Installation in gentrified area is criticised as artists are priced out of the city's housing market

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Museums & Heritage

Five years after Charlie Hebdo attack, France plans centre dedicated to satirical cartoons

In honour of the victims and to promote the medium, the French culture ministry will create "a meeting, training and exhibition place"

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Art market

Tough UK anti-money laundering law comes into force tomorrow—here's what you need to know

The lawyer Kenneth Mullen offers advice to art dealers, agents and galleries who could be unprepared for the hastily enforced new regulations

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Paul Cézanne

Drop the accent? Cézanne’s acute dilemma

A campaign to revert the artist's surname to the original Provençal spelling is being led by the artist's grandson

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German art

How a vast Käthe Kollwitz collection ended up at the Getty

Richard Simms, the 93-year-old donor, built up the enviable collection on a dentist’s salary starting in the 1960s

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Restitution

New evidence cited in restitution claim for Panama Papers Modigliani

Dealer Oscar Stettiner’s grandson says painting, now owned by David Nahmad, was looted by Nazis

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Discoveries

Like ‘Tutankhamun’s tomb’: first look inside emperor's sepulchre in 500 years reveals magnificent treasures

Discovery in Vienna's St Stephen's cathedral was made with photographs taken through a small hole in the marble

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Palais de Tokyo

Artists criticise Palais de Tokyo partnership with Qatari museum over LGBTQ rights

Mathaf's guest show at Paris contemporary art centre marks Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture

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Heritage

Trump retracts threats against Iranian culture sites saying: ‘I like to obey the law’

The US president’s reversal comes after widespread condemnation and defense officials’ assurances that military would abide by international law

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Conservation & Preservation

Puerto Rico prepares to assess toll of powerful earthquakes

A colonial-era church collapses and more damage to historic buildings is expected

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Collectors

Angola freezes assets of billionaire and her art collector husband

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, is married to Sindika Dokolo who has been working for years on repatriating works to the African continent

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Instagram

What if 19th-century artists had used Instagram? asks Musée d’Orsay's new artist-in-residence

French illustrator and painter Jean-Philippe Delhomme will post a new image on Paris museum's Instagram account every week for a year