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Obituaries

Soedarmadji Jean Henry Damais, Indonesian curator and historian, dies aged 78

The last director of the Jakarta History Museum was a leading advocate of the archipelago's traditional arts, crafts and designs

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Art Basel 2021

'The Europeans are back and buying': sales flow steadily at first Art Basel since the pandemic

Though Covid-19 travel complications have kept many US and Asian collectors away, dealers report brisk business from the VIP opening

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Art market

Try before you buy? Art rental scheme could bring steady income for emerging artists

Gertrude aims to make the art market more accessible and evenly distributed

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Art market

Artistate launches to help artists safeguard their legacy

Founded by gallerists and lawyers, the venture will provide estate-planning advice—for a fee—to artists and their families

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Antiquities & Archaeology

German auction of Latin American antiquities goes ahead, but many works fail to sell

Ambassadors from eight countries—Mexico, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama and Peru—whose heritage was included in the sale launched a united front against it, with calls for Unesco to intervene

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Art Fund Museum of the Year

‘Excellence in Essex’: Firstsite wins Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021

The small contemporary art organisation was awarded the £100,000 prize for its work during the pandemic and engagement with the local community

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National Gallery

Conservative party donor John Booth appointed chair of London's National Gallery

Philanthropist succeeds Tony Hall, who stepped down following row over Princess Diana interview

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Museums

Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong sets new opening date for long-delayed Abu Dhabi museum

New deputy director Naomi Beckwith says 'we can re-centre where the stories of art are told'

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Art Basel 2021

Unlimited—Art Basel’s section for large works—opens to visitors with a rainbow jacuzzi, a spooning couple and a house made of bread

Curator Giovanni Carmine walks through highlights among the 62 supersized installations presented at the fair

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Exhibitions

France launches Islamic art shows across 18 cities to combat rising Islamophobia

The Louvre-led government initiative aims to shatter clichés and encourage a deeper understanding

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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

New Academy Museum to tell a more honest Hollywood history

Opening next week, the Los Angeles museum dedicated to the history of cinema will include reimagined displays on diverse stars and “less than proud” moments

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Museums & Heritage

K-Pop superstars BTS help present gift from Korean government to the Metropolitan Museum

The set of five richly coloured lacquer vessels by artist Chung Haecho will go on show in the New York museum this December

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George Floyd

A painting created outside the Minneapolis courthouse during the final moments of the George Floyd murder trial will be put up for auction

MSNBC host Chris Hayes said on air he would buy picture, which was inspired by the Derek Chauvin murder conviction, if it were to ever come up for sale.

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Exhibitions

Basel's Beyeler Foundation scores coup for Goya show

Exhibition dedicated to the Spanish artist opens next month with a display of 75 paintings including a prized painting from Madrid’s Prado museum

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Art Basel 2021

Galerie Nagel Draxler presents ‘Crypto Kiosk’ of NFTs at Art Basel booth

The satellite fair Photo Basel is also offering digital photographic NFTs for sale

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Art Basel

Is Art Basel eyeing up a new fair location?

Art Basel has lent expertise to Art Week Tokyo, but does this indicate further involvement?

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Discoveries

Did this mysterious Dutch painter inspire Vermeer?

The story of enigmatic artist Jacobus Vrel will be told in an exhibition scheduled for 2023 and in a book published this month

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Mexico

Mexico attempts to halt German auction of Pre-Colombian artefacts

More than 70 works designated as national heritage are due to be sold in Munich on 21 September

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US politics

Percent for art programme to expand into Los Angeles county’s unincorporated areas

A civic ordinance in effect from October sets aside 1% of building projects for arts and culture programmes

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Art market

Genevan prosecutor dismisses Dimitry Rybolovev's case against art dealer Yves Bouvier—but feud between the two billionaires is not over yet

Russian art collector had sued for double dealing and will now appeal decision, while Bouvier plans to launch $1bn countersuit for damages—and write a tell-all book

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Museums & Heritage

A sneak peek at France's first cultural venue celebrating stained glass

The Cité du Vitrail will open in the medieval town of Troyes in spring 2022, but preview tours are running this weekend for the European Heritage Days

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Art and health

Healing Arts programme comes to New York with a two-month schedule of events

Artist commissions, expert discussions and film premieres will take place in the city, starting and ending with a pair of symposia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Appointments

'Musée d’Orsay can no longer be a tourist factory': Christophe Leribault named new director of Paris museum

Leribault will oversee a major redevelopment of the Musée d’Orsay over the next decade

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Myanmar

Myanmar’s artists face growing hardship as Covid returns and military tightens grip

As junta strengthens hold over country, the economy crumbles and a brutal new wave of the virus takes its toll, the artistic community is in crisis

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Art market

Ethiopian gallery Addis Fine Art to open space in London

One of the few Black-owned galleries in London, the space will open with a show of Nirit Takele in October as the gallery takes part in Frieze London for the first time

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Heritage

Unesco report reveals extent of Russian threat to Crimean heritage

Since the annexation in 2014, Russia has been persecuting the Tatar population and appropriating monuments

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Artists

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara named an ‘icon’ of 2021 by Time magazine

The Cuban artist and activist is joined on the publication’s list of 100 Most Influential People by Barbara Kruger and Mark Bradford

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Appointments

Nadine Dorries named UK culture secretary

The right-wing politician, who appeared on the TV programme I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, replaces Oliver Dowden

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Superflex

Superflex to send climate-conscious message during 76th United Nations General Assembly in New York

The Danish art collective will show one work on the façade of the international agency's Manhattan headquarters next week

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Restitution

Looted African works that France has promised to return to Benin will be shown in Paris museum for one last time

The exhibition Benin: the Restitution of 26 Works from the Royal Treasures of Abomey at Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac will be on view for five days in October

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Art market

The rise of Paris: Larry Gagosian opens third gallery in the French capital

US dealer launches new space with giant Alexander Calder sculpture in the Place Vendôme

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NFTs

Dread Scott's NFT 'White Male For Sale', a critique on slavery, to be auctioned off at Christie’s Post-War to Present sale

The work features a 1:10 loop of a business-class white man standing on an auction block

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Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold to get her first New York retrospective at the New Museum in 2022

The exhibition will span six decades and explore Ringgold as both an artist and political activist

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Prizes

James Turrell and Sebastião Salgado among international recipients of £400,000 Japanese art prize

Japan Art Association drew up the all-male winners list for award dubbed ‘Nobel Prize for the Arts’

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Prizes

Sculptor Nairy Baghramian awarded 2022 Nasher Prize

The $100,000 award for sculpture recognises the Berlin-based artist's evocative explorations of the body through sculpture

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Climate Change

'Now is the time': UK artists and galleries unite for climate campaign to mark COP26 conference

Conservation charity WWF and curatorial collective Artwise call on art world to raise funds and awareness for climate action

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Art market

‘Opera is boring’: Marina Abramovic’s cinematic ode to soprano Maria Callas opens in London

Belgrade-born performance artist discusses recasting opera for a younger generation, how the diva label is “dubious” and why sex is better post-menopause

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Museums & Heritage

Timothée Chalamet kicks off the Met Gala with a flag-inspired collaboration with street artist JR

The actor debuted a new performance and installation in the Breuer building, before protestors crashed the party at the Costume Institute’s annual celebrity fundraiser

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Peru

Peru’s heritage gets a new $125m home

Museo Nacional del Perú (Muna) boasts a collection of nearly 50,000 Pre- Columbian objects, including repatriated artefacts

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Appointments

Emma Lavigne named chief executive officer of the Pinault Collection

Former head of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris replaces Jean-Jacques Aillagon

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Art market

'A collector in dealer's clothes': Sotheby's to sell the collection of Richard L. Feigen

The sale of the New York dealer, who died earlier this year and was once a vocal critic of auction houses, will feature works from the 14th to 20th centuries

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Funding

British Council—the UK's international organisation for cultural relations—winds down in 20 countries

Covid impact on commercial income has led to cost cutting, organisation says

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NFTs

‘We have no doubt NFTs are art’: after selling tokenised Leonardo, Hermitage plans exhibition of born-digital works

Russian museum will look beyond the market hype to address deeper questions about "the specific possibilities of this medium", says contemporary art curator Dimitri Ozerkov

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Art education

After UK government slashes arts education funding it is now offering £10m extra cash—for a lucky few institutions

A select group of 16 specialist colleges, including the Royal College of Art and the Courtauld Institute of Art, have been given a lifeline

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Museums & Heritage

Rembrandt blockbuster draws 42,000 visitors to National Gallery of Canada

The response in Ottawa “shows people crave experiencing visual arts in person”, director Sasha Suda says

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Biennials & festivals

Prospect New Orleans to stagger openings and delay gala after Hurricane Ida

The event, launched in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, has been impacted by another major climate disaster

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Art fairs

'Exactly what we needed': Armory Show returns to New York in a new, modern location

Despite travel bans and complications, many galleries from oversees had a presence, giving the first major US fair since the pandemic a truly international tone

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Appointments

Klaus Biesenbach named director of Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie

Hamburger Bahnhof contemporary museum is to be led by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath

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Art market

The future’s bright: Millennials help art market stage post-pandemic recovery

Art Basel-UBS report reveals that employment has stabilised and gallery sales are up 10% in first half of 2021

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Prizes

Sung Tieu's film on sonic warfare, nausea and the legacy of the Cold War wins 2021 Frieze Artist Award

The Berlin-based artist will have a solo booth with Emalin at the London fair

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Art market

Christie's to sell €5m Chardin painting for the first time in nearly 200 years

Descendants of François Marcille will sell 27 paintings and drawings from his collection in Paris this November, including Woman Drawing Water from a Water Urn

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Thefts

French decorative art stolen from 17-century country home in Sussex—for second time

Police appealing for information after five items, including a pair of Sèvres vases and a clock with a bronze figure of Apollo, were taken from Uppark on the South Downs

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Restitution

Maqdala treasures looted by British troops returned to Ethiopia in 'largest single restitution'

At the ceremony in London, the Ethiopian ambassador renewed calls for museums to return Maqdala objects

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Prizes

Winner of 25th Deutsche Börse prize announced

Chinese artist Cao Fei's Serpentine exhibition Blueprints recognised as prophesying the effects of the pandemic

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Art market

Sotheby's wins 'dogfight' to sell $600m art collection of Harry and Linda Macklowe

Auction house will sell the 65 works, including $70m works by Rothko and Giacometti, in two standalone sales in November and next May

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Johannes Vermeer

First Cupid, now a wine glass? More revelations emerge from restored Vermeer painting in Dresden

Major restoration on Girl reading a Letter at an Open Window shows a large studded goblet later covered by a green curtain

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Art market

Jeff Koons reveals he is making NFTs, details plans for his Pace Gallery shows and remembers his hotel rendezvous with Salvador Dalí

The Balloon Dog sculptor spoke to The Art Newspaper as he announced a new art collaboration with BMW

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Museums

Brussels doctors prescribe museum visits to treat Covid-19 stress

Research “has proven that art can be beneficial for health, both mental and physical,” the city’s head of culture tells a Belgian newspaper

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September 11

'A thunderstorm of ash and cloud': Artists remember 11 September

On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, artists reflect on how the event has impacted their work

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Contemporary art

San Francisco will greet a new Institute of Contemporary Art

Nascent museum proclaims a commitment to economic justice and expansion of the art canon

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Art market

Stargazer idol will not be returned to Turkey, New York federal judge rules

The court found there is not enough evidence that the work was taken out of the country after 1906

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Confederate monuments

Robert E. Lee monument removed in Richmond, Virginia

The equestrian statue of the Confederate general has been heavily vandalised since the eruption of Black Lives Matter protests last summer

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Venice

Billionaire collector Nicolas Berggruen turns Venetian palace into cultural thinktank

The Berggruen Institute also announced that philosopher Peter Singer was the recipient of its annual $1m prize

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Museums & Heritage

Italy evicts Steve Bannon’s right-wing group from medieval monastery

Move follows long-running dispute with the Italian ministry of culture over the 13th-century Certosa di Trisulti

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Public art

Art on the move: Kasmin brings kinetic artist George Rickey’s monumental sculptures to Manhattan

Rickey’s moving sculptures will be on view along the Park Avenue Mall and the gallery’s rooftop garden

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Disasters & destruction

Ancient Chinese sites hit by flash floods this summer

Deadly rains in central Henan province threatened key Unesco World Heritage sites and hundreds of national relics. Experts warn the disaster may be a taste of future trouble

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UK politics

UK’s controversial new police bill poses major threat to the art world

Proposed legislation aimed at cracking down on unruly protests may criminalise protest art

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Art market

Art Basel promises to pay quarantine hotel bills and launches $1.6m 'solidarity fund' for galleries who fail to make sales

As exhibitors threaten to pull out of the fair in the face of travel uncertainty, another letter offering "extraordinary" one-off concessions to dealers is sent

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Statues

Bank of England removes ten slave trader works

But contentious statues of politicians involved in slave trade still remain in city's Guildhall building

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Art market

Secrets and lies: the role of restorers in art crime

Regulation of the conservation profession may be a start, but can it quash the “ego” that often motivates restorers-turned-forgers?

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Prizes

Winners of the Russian Art Focus Prize announced at Viennacontemporary

The British journalist Theo Merz won “best publication” and writing collective Agitatsia won “best research paper”

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Museums & Heritage

Arts & Crafts Movement gets a dedicated museum in St Petersburg, Florida

The new institution has been founded by the private collector and businessman and Rudy Ciccarello

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Sculpture

Please do touch the works: visitors to Prune Nourry’s show can only experience her sculptures using their hands

The busts of visually impaired models have never been seen by the artist who sculpted them blindfolded

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Cathedral of Notre Dame

What do the bells of Notre Dame 'hear'? Artist Bill Fontana listens to the soul of Paris

The Bay Area sound artist is working on a contemporary sound installation in the fire-ravaged cathedral's bell tower

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Banksy

Banksy’s £1m self-destructing painting goes back to auction—and could sell for six times the price

Work went viral in 2018 when it shredded during the sale at Sotheby’s

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Art market

Art world rushes to conform to UK's anti-money laundering laws

So far a total of 475 "art market participants" have been registered—but delays mean more are likely to comply in the coming months

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Appointments & departures

Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles names Johanna Burton of the Wexner as its first executive director

Burton will run the museum with Klaus Biesenbach, who has been reassigned as artistic director in a restructuring

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Art market

Art Basel writes letter of reassurance as galleries suggest fair should be cancelled

Fair says it is committed to going ahead but offers concessions to exhibitors, including rolling over booth fees to 2022 if they cannot enter the country and offering staff to man stands

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Afghanistan

Is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth from the British embassy in Kabul now in Taliban hands? UK politicians are stumped

Work left inside the British embassy will be protected, vow Taliban insurgents

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Museums & Heritage

Wanted: leaders with ‘stamina’ as Smithsonian tackles the creation of two new museums in Washington, DC

A turf battle may loom on the National Mall, but secretary Lonnie Bunch hopes to limit the hurdles for institutions devoted to Latino culture and women’s history

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Exhibitions

V&A's groundbreaking British design exhibition 75 years on—what can a post-pandemic UK learn from this historic show?

A prioritisation of design and a harnessing of public spirit are vital in the face of challenges posed by Brexit and Covid-19

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Art market

New dealer partnership between Lévy Gorvy, Salon 94 and Amalia Dayan hints at post-pandemic shift in traditional gallery model

The firm, called LGDR, will launch in January as a hybrid advisory/gallery and will abandon costly US fairs in favour of only doing events in Asia

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Public art

Destination Crenshaw commissions its first group of Black artists to create new works in Los Angeles

The $100m public art and community improvement project will launch with new sculptures by Kehinde Wiley, Melvin Edwards, Alison Saar, Brenna Youngblood and more

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Museums & Heritage

Progressive scientists, or high-flying elitists? The Met unlocks a secret behind a famous Jacques-Louis David portrait

Scientific testing reveals that the artist radically changed his depiction of a Paris couple in a landmark 1788 painting

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Damien Hirst

First Kanye West now Drake? Damien Hirst plugged by A-list musicians—but the internet is rolling its eyes

The Canadian rapper Drake yesterday posted a new album cover designed by the British artist

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Art fairs

Art Basel gets complicated: Swiss authorities will not accept Astra Zeneca vaccine while US issues ‘do not travel’ advisory

Non-EU visitors will have to apply for Swiss Covid-19 certificate before attending and, with certain vaccines not recognised, some will have to take tests onsite

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Video, film & new media

The Lost Leonardo—a thriller-like film on the world’s most expensive painting—opens in the UK on 10 September

The documentary features experts including editor-in-chief of The Art Newspaper, Alison Cole, and editor-at-large Georgina Adam

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Museums & Heritage

An ancient Buddhist city is perched on top of an Afghan copper reserve worth $50 billion—what will happen to it under Taliban control?

Cultural heritage workers estimate they have five years to secure the heritage site’s contents before it is destroyed to extract the ore

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Copyright

US Copyright Office suggests Congress pass new laws to protect artists from state infringement

A string of court cases have allowed states to claim sovereign immunity when they have used images without permission, giving copyright holders cause for concern and few options for remedy

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Art market

Were Banksy and Pranksy both pranked in $330,000 NFT sale?

NFT of a smoking punk appeared to link to Banksy’s website but the webpage was swiftly removed, prompting rumours of a hack

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Museums & Heritage

Maya stone monuments to be installed in the Met’s Great Hall

The stelae, on loan from Guatemala, feature life-sized depictions of ancient Indigenous leaders

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Photography

Male-centric and whitewashed: major photography brands Fuji, Canon and Kodak scramble to diversify following criticism

Camera companies pledge to promote more women, LGBTQ and photographers of colour in response to online pro-diversity campaigns

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Human rights

Cultural activist Osman Kavala remains imprisoned in Turkey without conviction almost four years after his arrest

Turkish authorities behind the legal saga have been criticised by the European Court of Human Rights

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Statues

Liverpool audio installation revisits history of slaver statue toppled 40 years ago

Sound piece at site where William Huskisson sculpture was brought down is part of citywide Statues Redressed project

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Museums & Heritage

Putting Uruguay on the art map: sculptor Pablo Atchugarry is building a world-class museum in his home country

Billed as Uruguay's most comprehensive hub for international contemporary art, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atchugarry will open in Punta del Este next January

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Fakes & copies

Tate’s Tahitian Gauguin is suspected fake

Catalogue raisonné rejects unusual part-painting, part-sketch, as expert says the “colonial” nature of the composition is not the artist’s style

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Heritage

Louis Armstrong’s ‘second home’ in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Ida

The Karnofsky Store, a Jewish family’s former tailor shop where the young jazz legend found early encouragement for his musical talent, has been reduced to rubble

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Canada

Klee Wyck, a historic home used by Emily Carr in West Vancouver, to be demolished

The property, bequeathed to the district by a physician friend of the artist for use as an arts centre, has been neglected for decades

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Restitution

Amsterdam to return Kandinsky sold under Nazi occupation to heirs

The decision ends a bitter dispute that damaged the reputation of Dutch restitution policy

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Acquisitions

Sargent, Goya, Degas: Frick Collection welcomes its most significant gift to date of works on paper

The 26 works, promised by a New York collecting couple, enhance the museum’s current holdings and add new artists to its collection