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Museums & Heritage

Employees at the Whitney and Hispanic Society seek to unionise

Job stability and ongoing inequities have become even more pressing during the pandemic, workers say

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Obituaries

Mary Beth Edelson, feminist art goddess, has died, aged 88

She was a founding member of the Heresies Collective and made activism as well as spirituality a major part of her practice

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Museums & Heritage

Hermitage Amsterdam close to reaching €1m in urgent crowdfunding appeal to survive Covid-19 crisis

The privately funded Dutch branch of the State Hermitage Museum has attracted 10,000 donations from the public but director says "we're not done yet"

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Art market

Frieze got Seoul: fair to launch in South Korea next year

The first event, featuring 100 exhibitors, will run in September 2022 in partnership with Galleries Association of Korea

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Prizes

Chicago’s Joyce Foundation awards $75,000 each to four artists’ projects

Sydney Chatman, Daniel Minter, Kameelah Janan Rasheed and Santiago X will create new works in Great Lakes cities that “honour individual and collective resiliency”

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Dasha Zhukova, collector and founder of Garage magazine, launches a real estate firm that places a high premium on culture

Instead of the routine amenities offered by most residential apartment buildings, Zhukova’s buildings will feature artist studios, workshops and masterclasses

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Museums & Heritage

National Museum of Women in the Arts will close for two-year renovation

The $66m project includes expanding galleries, creating research and education spaces and restoring its landmark 1908 building

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Museums & Heritage

'A vast underwater museum': Greece plans to open shipwrecks and other submerged heritage sites for visitors to explore

Experienced divers and casual bathers alike will gain access to ancient marine monuments, which remain where they were found on the seabed

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Museums & Heritage

Fuelling culture war, UK government forms new 'retain and explain' board for controversial monuments

"Independence cuts both ways," UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden warns museums and heritage bodies

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Museums & Heritage

Off with her head! Infrared technology shows how a 15th-century French king used a paintbrush to replace one wife with another

Francis I of Brittany had his first wife painted over in a medieval prayer book before giving it to his new spouse, research at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum shows

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Obituaries

'Restless, experimental and enigmatic': Brazilian artist Carlito Carvalhosa has died, aged 59

He was the first living Brazilian artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

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Appointments & departures

Katerina Gregos will lead the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens as artistic director

The museum looks to a “new era” after a difficult history, including long delays in the opening its new home and the termination of two of its directors by the Culture Ministry

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Art market

Lehmann Maupin opens a summer popup in Taipei, expanding further into the spirited Asian market

The space will open in the Neri & Hu designed Kimpton Hotel Da An in Taiwan

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Appointments

National Gallery of Art recruits the first woman and person of colour to serve as its chief curator

As the museum commits itself to diversity, E. Carmen Ramos, a curator of Latino art, will be “the principal architect of the visitor experience”

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Heritage

Prominent Israeli rabbi: 'al-Aqsa mosque is the heart of the deadly hostilities—nobody really gets it'

Respect for religious sites and religions—not military might—is the only way forward, he says

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Art market

Christie's rounds off New York's auction week with strong $481m 20th century sale—and half of it was pre-sold through guarantees

The sale was led by a classic 1932 Picasso of Marie-Thérèse at $103.4m and set new records for Alice Neel, Grace Hartigan, Barbara Hepworth and Alighiero Boetti

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Heritage

Bell foundry that cast Big Ben can be turned into boutique hotel, UK government says

Decision has drawn wave of criticism from culture and heritage professionals, accusing government of ‘money-grabbing philistinism’

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Gaza

At an art school in Gaza, creation prevails amid destruction

Bombings have halted classes in the city’s only accredited arts academy, but its founder keeps hope alive

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Design

Artists’ signal-jamming chandelier sculpture challenges our reliance on technology—and FCC laws

The goal of the design is to encourage interpersonal connections and promote mental health

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Sarah Oppenheimer

Sarah Oppenheimer will create a monumental permanent work for the University of Texas at Austin

The commission is part of the university’s Landmarks public art programme, which includes pieces by artists like Louise Bourgeois and Mark di Suvero

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Israel

Palestinian artist films police crackdown in Israeli city of Haifa

Calls are growing for the boycott of Israeli cultural institutions as protests erupt over Israeli attacks on Gaza and the forced eviction of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah

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Art market

Monet's $70m water lilies float to the top of Sotheby's three-auction marathon

The evening of sales in New York totalled $439.6m, with Basquiat's Versus Medici topping the contemporary art offering at $50.8m and a new record for Leonor Fini

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Art Basel Hong Kong

Unlike Elon Musk, Ora-Ora gallery will be accepting Bitcoin at Art Basel in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong gallery will be among the first to use the new form of payment at the fair

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Art market

Hands up who's bidding for classic post-war art? Picky response to Anne Marion's all-American collection reflects market's shifting tastes

Sotheby's auction of the Texan rancher's collection totalled $157.2m and set new records for Kenneth Noland, Larry Rivers and Richard Diebenkorn

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Art market

Thaddaeus Ropac is the latest Western gallery to open in Seoul

With its resilient economy through the pandemic, South Korea is attracting the art industry's attention, with rumours of Frieze launching a fair in Seoul next year

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Indigenous peoples

The Metropolitan Museum installs a plaque on its façade honouring the Lenape people, driven out of their New York City land

Museum says the move is intended to promote “truthful narratives” and promote social change

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Art market

Spotty performance for unseen Yayoi Kusama paintings at Bonhams New York—but works on paper soar off the block

Pieces came from the collection of late New York heart surgeon who befriended the artist in the 1960s

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Museums & Heritage

Chinati will use $1.25m Start Small grant to restore sites and train young women in preservation skills

Support comes from the Covid relief fund launched last year by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has visited the Marfa arts centre

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Public art

Take the stage, New York: Rashid Johnson will build a platform for the public as Creative Time’s summer project

The city’s residents will be able to use the space for performances or public action, as well as take part in a programme of artist-led events

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Art market

Access denied: British auction house executives refused US visas to travel for marquee New York sales week

But the show goes on at Sotheby’s and Christie’s with a mixture of in-person and remote bidding, while British dealers are getting creative in the Big Apple

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Art market

A $93.1m Basquiat and reams of records for hot young names kicks off New York auction week at Christie's

The $210.4m sale included new highs for contemporary artists like Mickalene Thomas, Jordan Casteel and Lynette Yiadom Boakye, while some established names fell flat

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Art education

Museum directors and art school leaders demand that UK government ‘scraps cuts to arts education’

"Art is essential to the growth of this country," say 300 art world figures and academics in open letter

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Museums

German museums to receive up to €25,000 for research into their Benin bronzes ahead of restitutions next year

Grants are available for institutions with individual Benin artefacts or small collections

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Heritage

Cerne Abbas Giant—Dorset's enormous chalk figure—was Saxon, new study finds

Mysterious image still holds some secrets however

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James Turrell

James Turrell will unveil another Skyspace this year in the Colorado mountains

The permanent work will be installed on a hillside in Green Mountain Falls later this summer

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Acquisitions

Acquisitions round-up: George Lucas's LA museum acquires monumental mural archive, and Getty purchases Artemisia Gentileschi's Lucretia

Our pick of the latest gifts and purchases to enter international museum collections

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Museums & Heritage

A fatal Mafia bombing shook Florence in 1993—now the Uffizi is fixing damage to its famous Vasari corridor with memorials of the attack

Work on the 760m-long Renaissance passageway, which has been closed for safety since 2016, will be completed in May next year

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Prizes

Black Obsidian Sound System: 'Thanks for the Turner Prize nomination, here are our terms'

Group shortlisted by Tate for the prestigious contemporary art prize is calling out the institution’s hypocrisy and demanding working conditions that are “nurturing and supportive”

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Remains

How a ceremonial shrunken head, held by a US university for decades, was finally returned to Ecuador

A newly published research paper explains the authentication and repatriation process for a tsantsa once housed in Mercer University’s natural history collection

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Archeology

Archaeologists rush to record the Rio Grande’s art amid threat from flooding and drug cartels

Ancient rock art near Texas-Mexico border could be lost forever

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Art market

Out of Africa and into Messums: UK gallery launches new photography department with vintage prints of Karen Blixen's life in Kenya

Some of the images taken by the younger brother of the Danish author, whose memoir became an Oscar-winning film, reflect colonialist attitudes that the exhibition aims to confront

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Loot

Looted Libyan sculpture seized at Heathrow Airport heads back home with help from the British Museum

The funerary piece was illicitly excavated from the ancient city of Cyrene which is under threat from property developers

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Art market

Leonardo da Vinci's bear pawtrait could make record for drawing by the artist

The work is expected to fetch up to £12m in a live sale at Christie's London this July

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Museums & Heritage

‘The Colosseum is the last thing I would spend money on’: experts angry over plans for €15m floor at Italy’s most famous site

Archaeologists object to covering the amphitheatre's unique underground space and point to more vital restoration projects in the country

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Art market

Christie's to offer paid internships to students with disabilities

Auction house has partnered with disability charity Leonard Cheshire's Change 100 programme to give work placements in-house and fund others at Tate and National Galleries of Scotland

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Obituaries

Karl Wirsum, life-long Chicago painter and member of the Hairy Who, has died, aged 81

An early interest in comics never left him, as could be seen in his colourful figurative work that reflected a love of robots and toys, as well as an admiration for El Greco

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Deaccessioning

As a Sotheby’s auction looms, scholars protest against Newark Museum of Art’s plan to sell a Thomas Cole painting and other works

In an open letter, they denounce the deaccessioning move as a “senseless monetisation” of art from the permanent collection

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Art market

Unable to run in its usual format, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair moves into Christie’s for bijou showcase

Knotted Ties exhibition features textile works by female artists from Africa and the diaspora

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Germany

It's official—Germany declares its nightclubs are now cultural institutions

Nightlife and live music venues across the country now have the same legal status as museums and opera houses

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NFTs

Contract Killers: artist Nancy Baker Cahill challenges the efficacy of the 'smart contracts' behind NFTs with an augmented reality project

The environmentally conscious project considers broken and violated social contracts in the artists space and in society as a whole

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Prizes

For first time Turner Prize 2021 shortlist is made up entirely of artist collectives

From a Welsh community group to a neurodiverse arts hub in Hastings, the collectives' works will go on show in Coventry in September

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Art market

Charles I disposed of this Van Dyck portrait when he signed the sitter's death warrant. Now it is up for sale at Christie's

The 17th century painting of the Earl of Strafford, recently discovered to have been in the Royal collection, is expected to sell for up to £5m in London in July

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Heritage

Catherine de Medici portrait returns to Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill after almost 200 years

Painting is the only surviving contemporary image of the monarch

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Art market

'It is like spring in the art world': A more civilised, 'humane' Frieze New York bodes well for the market

Exhibitors praised Frieze for seamlessness of install and timed entry gave galleries and guests more time than usual for art chat, making deals and catching up

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Museums

Crowds flock to revamped Uffizi Galleries

Florence museum unveiled new exhibition space and recent acquisitions

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Building projects

'Intelligent design': Frank Gehry's surprisingly subtle $233m makeover of Philadelphia Museum of Art revealed

Architect's Core Project expansion creates 90,000 sq. ft of new galleries and reimagined public spaces at heart of 1928 landmark

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Art market

Artists are expected to give away their work for charity. This new auction platform aims to give them something back in return

The Stand has been launched by former Sotheby's boss and will give 70% to artists, 20% to charity

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Obituaries

Patrick O’Connell, Visual Aids founder, has died, aged 67

The activist helped develop perhaps the most well known symbol of HIV and Aids awareness: the red ribbon

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Sanford Biggers

Sanford Biggers unveils monolithic sculpture at Rockefeller Plaza

The work is part of a campus-wide exhibition exploring themes around European and African mythologies

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Art education

Uproar as UK government plans to cut funding for arts education by 50% to prioritise 'high-value subjects'

Artists express concerns and the Public Campaign for the Arts launches a petition as the consultation on the planned budget cuts to higher education ends today

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Art market

Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing—what will happen to their art?

As the multi-billionaire couple announce they are ending their marriage, we look at some of the art world's bitterest splits

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Foundations

MoMA trustee Lonti Ebers to open huge arts centre in Brooklyn this summer

The Amant Foundation in East Williamsburg will combine exhibition and studio spaces for resident artists

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Cuba

Cuban dissident artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara taken to hospital by security forces eight days into a hunger strike

Otero Alcántara’s hunger strike and calls for free speech and artistic freedom in Cuba has drawn international attention

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Art market

If you can't beat them, join them: Goodman Gallery jumps on the Hamptons bandwagon with new outpost

Denis Gardarin has joined as US director and will oversee the South Africa- and London-based gallery's presence at Frieze New York this week as travel restrictions persist

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Art market

Crypto-creep accelerates as Sotheby's accepts Ether and Bitcoin for $5m Banksy painting

The sale this month will be the first time the auction house has accepted cryptocurrency as payment for a physical work of art

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Philanthropy

Josef and Anni Albers Foundation to unveil new maternity and paediatric hospital in Senegal

German architect has designed the €2m building which takes elements from the Bauhaus couple’s work

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Russia

Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who faces prison for posting feminist drawings, starts hunger strike

The 27-year-old activist is demanding that her criminal trial be held in public

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Museums & Heritage

UK culture war heats up as arts professionals question veto of trustee appointment at Royal Museums Greenwich

Museums Association says government refusal to renew academic Aminul Hoque’s term is “worrying”, and the chair of trustees has resigned over the decision

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Exhibitions

Met's next Costume Institute show is an exploration of the emotional hues of American fashion

The two-part exhibition invokes the upheaval of the past year and will be accompanied by an "intimate" gala this September and then a more expansive benefit next May

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Adrian Piper

Adrian Piper plans a protest in Berlin over school class sizes

The 15 May demonstration is part of her ongoing Wahlkampagne criticizing Germany’s education system

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Antiquities & Archaeology

Yacht rock art: prehistoric carvings found in Norway may be oldest nautical images in the world

Two life-size outlines of boats are thought to have been etched into the grey rock face 10,000 years ago—and more could still await discovery

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Monuments

Four artists shortlisted for Windrush monument at London’s Waterloo Station

Thomas Price and Jeannette Ehlers are in the running for public art piece honouring Caribbean pioneers

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Obituaries

Eli Broad, who helped reshape the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, has died, aged 87

Billionaire art collector, businessman and philanthropist founded the museum that bears his name and helped shore up Disney Concert Hall, Lacma and MOCA

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Obituaries

William T. Wiley, a founder of the Bay Area Funk Art movement and influential art teacher, has died, aged 83

A dedicated mentor, he also delighted in provocative enigmas in wide-ranging mediums

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Public art

‘Some Like It Not’: protesters rally against plan to install Marilyn Monroe sculpture near Palm Springs Art Museum

Dozens gather to denounce sexualised depiction of actress with her skirt flying up

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Archaeology

A Bronze Age village is discovered beneath Lake Lucerne

Archaeologists find remains of houses on stilts, possibly dating to 1000BC, which indicates Lucerne was settled earlier than thought

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Biennials & festivals

After social media backlash, Dark Mofo art festival in Tasmania launches fund for Aboriginal artists

The festival drew criticism last month for an art project that would crowd-source blood from Indigenous and Aboriginal people

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Museums

Pinault's Bourse de Commerce plans to finally launch on 22 May as Macron gives French museums the green light to reopen

Health passes to certify visitors are Covid-free will be mandatory at cultural venues

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Ugo Rondinone

Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains in the Nevada desert will undergo a second restoration

The immersive artwork, installed in 2016, could be up for another five years

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AlUla

'A global destination for heritage, culture and nature': Saudi Arabia unveils $15bn AlUla masterplan

Kingdoms Institute, a new "world class" study centre, is among 15 cultural facilities that will form part of the heritage-rich region's transformation

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Restitution

Germany pledges to return Benin bronzes to Nigeria starting in 2022

“We are facing up to our historical and moral responsibility”, says culture minister Monika Grütters

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Museums

Indian museum brings artist M F Husain back from the dead using AI

Visitors to the Museum of Art and Photography in Bangalore can pose questions to a "digital twin" of the late Bombay Progressive Group painter

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Art market

Taxidermy flying kittens, Irish giants and Queen Victoria's knickers: the world of Viktor Wynd

The artist, writer and dealer is selling a selection of bizarre pieces from his London-based Museum of Curiosities on 6 May

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Archaeology

Mysterious stone structures in Saudi Arabia are around 7,000 years old, making them one of the oldest examples of widespread monument-making

Citing the discovery of animal skulls and horns, researchers suggest that mustatils may have had a religious purpose

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Litigation

Stand and deliver: the $950m ‘art hostage situation’ involving paintings by Malevich and Goncharova

In a long-running legal battle, the Shchukin Gallery seeks the return of five paintings worth $63m that the gallery says were taken by a Russian financier

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Vandalism

Another ancient petroglyph panel has been vandalised in Utah

The Bureau of Land Management is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible

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Black Lives Matter

In Minneapolis, plywood boards become protest art worth preserving

Many of the boards used to cover shopfront windows during protests became impromptu canvases—as much works of art as vital historical artefacts

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Public art

David Hammons's monumental public sculpture Day's End is done

The steel frame structure, which recreates the outline of a former warehouse on the Hudson River, is now a permanent fixture on the shoreline

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Collectors

Korean museums to receive 23,000 works from Samsung estate in $11bn tax settlement

Lee Kun-hee, the Samsung Electronics chairman who died in October, leaves collection worth $2.2bn, including works by Monet, Dali and Chagall

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Restitution

Scottish university claims Benin bronze bought for £750 is worth £500,000—but is that now really the case?

Aberdeen University is returning its looted 18th-century oba head to the Nigerian federal government

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Benin Bronzes

Global survey: where in the world are the Benin bronzes?

Around 160 institutions hold looted Benin artefacts, but how many are prepared to give them back? We asked museums in five countries for their position on restitution

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Manifesta 12

Three years on, Manifesta 12 workers are still waiting to be paid

Dozens of staff and freelancers who worked at the 2018 exhibition in Palermo have been left in the lurch

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Art education

Christie’s supports charity delivering art history lessons for students at UK state schools

Art History Link-Up chief says subject is a rare offer at state schools because of cuts and teacher shortages

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Restitution

'We've had a lot of museums reaching out': how Nigeria is getting ready to receive the world’s Benin bronzes

With institutions across the globe rethinking their views on restitution, the African country’s focus is now on making a home for its heritage

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Art market

White Cube announces exclusive worldwide representation of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi

British gallery will work in collaboration with the Noguchi Museum in New York

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Art market

Phillips names Stephen Brooks, a former Christie's financial officer, as new chief executive

The current chief, Edward Dolman, will shift in September to a new role as executive chairman of Phillips’ holding company

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Art market

'I was brought here to get the company sold privately and that is done': Amy Cappellazzo to leave Sotheby's in July

Brooke Lampley and Mari-Claudia Jiménez will step up into new roles in the global fine art division, while Gregoire Billault is the new chairman of contemporary art

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National Gallery, London

TikTok and masterpieces on tour: London's National Gallery reveals plans leading up to 200th birthday in 2024

Five-year strategy pledges to ramp up digital content and send historic paintings on UK "community tours" to mark bicentenary

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Protest art

Trump protest work recovered by FBI four years after being stolen by white supremacists

He Will Not Divide Us was subjected to multiple attacks from far-right extremists before being snatched in a raid in Tennessee in 2017

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Art theft

Rare medieval reliquary—stolen near Siena 32 years ago—discovered at collector's home in Sicily

Carabinieri's recovery of the San Galgano collection of “unprecedented importance”